The Center for Education Reform announced that fewer than half of the charter school laws that exist around the country earn a passing grade when it comes to meeting parent demand to choose a charter education, and educators being able to easily open and operate innovative charter schools.
But DC stands out as having the strongest charter school law in the nation – for the second year in a row, according to the center’s new ranking of charter law across the country.
Along with DC, only three out of 43 states that have charter school laws earned an A (Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan)
I think I know why. Passed in 1996, the DC law calls for an independent authorizer. Research has shown that a stand-alone body has greater ability to hold schools accountable for performance, without being beholden to special interests if they are part of another system, like the local school district, or state education board.
Also, the DC charter law gives the schools clear autonomy to design their programs as they see fit. In this area the Center for Education Reform gave DC a 12 out of a possible 15 points.
Finally, the DC law largely gives charter schools funding equity with the traditional system. In DC, charters receive $3,000 per student, plus there is a credit enhancement and a fund that gives schools direct loans to buy, renovation and maintain facilities.
To read the full report click here.