National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Releases Thirteenth Edition of Charter School Law Rankings Report

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Annual rankings report measures state charter school legislation against a strong model law

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released the thirteenth edition of an annual report that measures state charter school laws against the National Alliance’s model charter school law. The model law is comprised of 21 essential components focused on flexibility, accountability, and equity. Each year, the National Alliance analyzes, scores, and ranks each state's charter school law to determine which states have created the statutory and regulatory environments that best support high-quality public charter schools.

“In 2021, we saw incredible support and momentum to expand access to high-quality charter schools in state capitols across the nation. It also marked a year where families were vocal about their demands for more and better options in public education and voted with their feet,” said Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Since the pandemic began, hundreds of thousands of students nationwide enrolled in free, open-to-all, and always public charter schools that better suit their needs. In response, we saw a record number of legislative actions aimed at improving or protecting charter laws to meet parental demands for more public education options.”

The 2022 rankings also reflect the continued steps many states took in 2021 to strengthen their laws and foster a landscape of high-quality public charter schools that have a positive impact on students. Highlights include:

  • Nine states improved their rankings from 2021: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  • Fourteen states improved their scores from 2021: Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
  • The new Top Five states are Indiana (for the seventh year in a row), Colorado, Alabama (up from #5), Minnesota, and Florida (up from #7).
  • The new Bottom Five states are Wisconsin, Virginia, Alaska, Kansas, and Maryland. These states round out the bottom because none of them provide schools much in the way of autonomy, accountability, funding equity for students and alternative, non-district authorizers.
  • Iowa is the most improved state, leaping from #41 to #18 after enacting an overhaul to its charter school law. Major improvements included strengthened authorizing and enhanced autonomy and accountability.
  • Wyoming saw the second biggest jump in its score following Iowa. Wyoming jumped from #42 to #34 after overhauling the charter school law in 2021 to better serve the needs of students and families in the state.
  • Ohio jumped from #24 to #12 after making another round of policy improvements to its law, including removing geographic restrictions on where a charter school can be started.

To view the report, visit Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws, Thirteenth Edition. Find out more information and how states can improve charter schools laws by exploring the National Alliance's Charter School Law Database.