Washington, D.C. - In a historic moment today, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed SB 45 into law, making Alabama the 43rd state to enact a public charter school law. Currently, 42 states along with Washington, D.C. have the charter school law.
This bill will allow the state to open up to 10 start-up charter schools and an unlimited number of conversions per year throughout the state.
Nina Rees, president and CEO at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released the following statement:
"This is a victorious day for Alabama's families. We would like to thank Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, Representative Terry Collins, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, Governor Robert Bentley, and all of the other lawmakers who supported this legislation. SB 45 establishes a solid foundation for the state to create high-quality public schools for children who need them the most.
"The law has several essential components for a strong law based on the guidelines in our Model Charter School Law. By providing a high degree of flexibility, the charter school law in Alabama will encourage the creation of schools that can address student needs in innovative ways. Additionally, the law includes strong accountability provisions in order to hold schools responsible for their finances, operations, and, most importantly, student results.
"We also want to acknowledge the instrumental work of the Alabama Coalition for Public Charter Schools, the Black Alliance for Educational Options, A+ Education Partnership, the Business Council of Alabama, Students First, and all of our other partners in helping this bill become a law."
Now, only seven states remain without a charter school law.
About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many independent research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at www.publiccharters.org.