As Democratic Candidates Descend on Iowa, New Report Shows Hawkeye State Ranks in Bottom Five in Annual Charter School Law Rankings

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DES MOINES, IA — The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released its annual state-by-state ranking of charter school laws today, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws, Eleventh Edition. Iowa, which will hold its caucus on February 3rd, lands in the bottom five (41/45) of the nation’s charter school laws for the fifth consecutive year—highlighting the key battleground state’s failure to provide ample school choice for families.

Iowa enacted its charter school law in 2002 and currently less than 150 public school students attend only two charter schools

“Iowa continues to rank at the bottom when it comes to school choice for families in the state,” said Mark Jacobs, Founder and President of Reaching Higher Iowa. “Improving K-12 outcomes begins with providing parents more options and access to higher quality schools for their students. Iowa must explore how the state can better meet the demands of parents.”

“Closing the education achievement gap should be the number one priority of our leaders no matter their political party,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Too many children are falling behind in Iowa and comprehensive education reform must be at the forefront in order to give students the education they deserve.”

The National Alliance’s 2020 rankings measure each state’s charter school law against a “gold standard” model charter school law,
A Model Law for Supporting the Growth of High-Quality Charter Schools: Second Edition, released in October 2016. The National Alliance’s model law helps policymakers and education advocates see the notable strides and drops of charter school laws and raises the key battleground state’s profile in failing to provide school choice for families.

The Eleventh Edition of Measuring Up to the Model ranks charter school laws in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Each law receives a score based on 21 essential metrics, including accountability, flexibility, and funding equity.

For additional key findings in the report, please view the national press release from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.