MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS

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1 MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS SIXTH EDITION JANUARY 2015

2 Table of Contents 3 Introduction 5 The 2015 State Law Rankings 8 of a Strong Law 10 Leading States for the 20 of the National Alliance Model Law State Profiles 98 Appendix A: Methodological Details 119 Map of the 2015 State Law Rankings Acknowledgements This report was written by Todd Ziebarth, senior vice president of state advocacy and support at the National Alliance for s. 2 NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

3 Introduction The elections in November 2014 had a strong influence on state legislative activity last year. Gubernatorial elections were held in 36 states, while legislative elections took place in 46 states. These looming races prevented some legislators from taking tough votes on pro-charter bills and motivated other legislators to introduce anti-charter bills. As a result, there was a lot of talk about public charter schools in state capitols in 2014, but there was not as much action as we have seen over the previous few years. Notwithstanding the elections, 10 states enacted legislation to strengthen their authorizing environments in For example, Alaska created an appellate process for public charter school applicants denied by their local school districts and provided a mechanism to fund the work of authorizers, South Carolina and Tennessee strengthened their charter application processes, and Utah bolstered its requirements for performance-based charter contracts. Six states improved their support for public charter school funding and facilities in In one of the boldest moves yet by a state, New York enacted legislation that requires the New York City District to provide public school building space or offer space in a privately owned or other publicly owned facility at the expense of the district to new and expanding charters in the district. Alaska s comprehensive approach to overhauling public charter school funding is also worth noting, as it increased the pots of money included in the per-pupil calculation for charter schools, ensured that charter schools receive state aid for construction or major maintenance, required districts to provide transportation for charter schools or pay the charter school the portion of transportation funds provided by the state, and provided a one-year start-up grant to new charter schools equal to $500 per pupil. Although we did not see as much positive legislative change for charters in 2014 as in the previous few years, we are cautiously optimistic that the 2014 election results will accelerate the pace of state legislative improvements for public charter schools in 2015 and beyond. With charter supporters in both parties winning re-election or election for the first time, it is time to get to work lifting caps that constrain growth, enhancing quality controls to better encourage the opening of great schools, and providing additional funding to decrease the equity gap between public charter school students and their counterparts in traditional public schools. We hope this report will be a useful starting point for these supporters and others as they work to strengthen public charter school laws, particularly in the service of those students most in need of a better public school option right now. Nina Rees President and CEO National Alliance for s Todd Ziebarth Senior Vice President for State Advocacy and Support National Alliance for s MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 3

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5 The 2015 State Rankings Even though there was not as much state legislative activity in 2014 as in the previous few years, there were some notable shifts in the rankings. While some of the shifts were because of policy changes in the states, others were actually the result of new data related to funding inequity. 1 Here are the major takeaways from this year s rankings: Minnesota remained first, while Maryland remained last. South Carolina moved up six spots from #16 to #10 because it enacted legislation that strengthened its authorizing environment by allowing public charter school applicants direct access to multiple authorizers and requiring additional charter application elements specific to educational service providers and replications. Utah moved up seven spots from #25 to #18 because it enacted legislation that strengthened its requirements for performance-based contracts and because of new data related to its authorizing environment and funding equity. While Alaska moved only from #40 to #39, its point total jumped from 67 to 78 points. This 11-point increase was tied for the highest in this year s report (with Utah). Massachusetts moved down six spots from #11 to #17 because of new data related to funding equity. Our highest-scoring state received only 75 percent of the total points, meaning there is still much work to do to improve policies for charters, especially in the areas of operational and capital funding equity. Table 1, beginning on the following page, contains the full 2015 State Law Rankings. 1 As part of the criteria for Component #18 (Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Categorical Funding), we looked at evidence related to the equity gap between district and charter students. In past editions of this report, we used information from Ball State University s 2010 study Funding: Inequity Persists for this evidence. In 2014, the University of Arkansas released Funding: Inequity Expands, an updated version of the 2010 study. We used information from the new study for evidence related to the equity gap between district and charter students in this year s rankings report. MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 5

6 The 2015 State Law Rankings Table 1: 2015 State Law Rankings Ranking State Difference 2014 Ranking Ranking Difference 1 Minnesota Louisiana Maine Washington Indiana Colorado New York Florida D.C South Carolina California Arizona New Mexico Nevada Mississippi North Carolina Massachusetts Utah Delaware Idaho Michigan Texas Georgia Hawaii Pennsylvania Oregon Missouri Ohio Illinois Arkansas In case of a tie, we first looked at each state s total weighted score for the four quality control components. Whichever state had the highest score was ranked higher. If the states had the same total weighted score for these components, we looked at each state s total weighted score for the two funding components. Whichever state had the highest score was ranked higher. 6 NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

7 The 2015 State Law Rankings 2015 Ranking State Difference 2014 Ranking Ranking Difference 31 New Hampshire Tennessee Rhode Island New Jersey Connecticut Oklahoma Wyoming Wisconsin Alaska Virginia Iowa Kansas Maryland It is important to note that our primary focus was to assess whether and how state laws and regulations addressed the National Alliance model law, not whether and how practices in the state addressed it. In a few areas such as caps, multiple authorizers, and funding we incorporated what was happening in practice because we felt it was necessary to do so to fairly capture the strength of the law. Notwithstanding these instances, the purpose of the analyses is to encourage state laws to require best practices and guarantee public charter school rights and freedoms so that state charter movements will benefit from a supportive legal and policy environment. MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 7

8 of a Strong Law In this report, we evaluate each state s charter school law against the 20 essential components of a strong public charter school law. These 20 components are drawn from the National Alliance s A New Model Law for Supporting the Growth of High-Quality s. Below we provide a list of the 20 components and a brief description of each. of a Strong Law 1 No Caps, on the growth of public charter schools in a state. 2 A Variety of s Allowed, including new start-ups, public school conversions, and virtual schools. 3 Multiple Authorizers Available, including non-local school board authorizers, to which charter applicants may directly apply. 4 Authorizer and Overall Program Accountability System Required, whereby all authorizers must affirm interest to become an authorizer (except for a legislatively created state public charter school commission) and participate in an authorizer reporting program based on objective data, as overseen by some state-level entity with the power to remedy. 5 Adequate Authorizer Funding, including provisions for guaranteed funding from state or authorizer fees, and public accountability for such expenditures. 6 Transparent Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes, including comprehensive academic, operational, governance, and performance application requirements, with such applications reviewed and acted upon following professional authorizer standards. 7 Performance-Based Contracts Required, with such contracts created as separate postapplication documents between authorizers and public charter schools detailing at least academic performance expectations, operational performance expectations, and school and authorizer rights and duties. 8 Comprehensive Monitoring and Data Collection Processes, so that all authorizers can verify public charter school compliance with applicable law and their performance-based contracts. 9 Clear Processes for Renewal, Nonrenewal, and Revocation Decisions, including school closure and dissolution procedures to be used by all authorizers. 10 Educational Service Providers Allowed, provided there is a clear performance contract between the independent public charter school board and the service provider and there are no conflicts of interest between the two entities. 8 NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

9 of a Strong Law of a Strong Law 11 Fiscally and Legally Autonomous s with Independent Boards, whereby public charter schools are created as autonomous entities with their boards having most of the powers granted to other traditional public school district boards. 12 Clear Student Recruitment, Enrollment and Lottery Procedures, which must be followed by all public charter schools. 13 Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations, except for those covering health, safety, civil rights, student accountability, employee criminal history checks, open meetings, freedom of information requirements, and generally accepted accounting principles. 14 Automatic Collective Bargaining Exemption, whereby public charter schools are exempt from any outside collective bargaining agreements, while not interfering with laws and other applicable rules protecting the rights of employees to organize and be free from discrimination. 15 Multischool Contract and/or Multicharter Contract Boards Allowed, whereby an independent public charter school board may oversee multiple schools linked under a single charter contract or may hold multiple charter contracts. 16 Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access, whereby (a) public charter school students and employees are eligible for state- and district-sponsored interscholastic leagues, competitions, awards, scholarships, and recognition programs to the same extent as traditional public school students and employees; and (b) students at charters that do not provide extracurricular and interscholastic activities have access to those activities at traditional public schools for a free via a mutual agreement. 17 Clear Identification of Special Education Responsibilities, including clarity on which entity is the local education agency responsible for such services and how such services are to be funded (especially for low-incident, high-cost cases). 18 Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding, flowing to the school in a timely fashion and in the same amount as district schools following eligibility criteria similar to all other public schools. 19 Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities, including multiple provisions such as a per-pupil facility allowance (equal to statewide average per-pupil capital costs); facility grant and revolving loan programs; a charter school bonding authority (or access to all relevant state tax-exempt bonding authorities available to all other public schools); the right of first refusal to purchase or lease at or below fair market value a closed or unused public school facility or property; and clarity that no state or local entity may impose any facility-related requirements that are stricter than those applied to traditional public schools. 20 Access to Relevant Employee Retirement Systems, with the option to participate in a similar manner to all other public schools. MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 9

10 Leading States for the 20 of the National Alliance Model Law This year s rankings report again details the leaders for each of the 20 essential components of the National Alliance model law i.e., those states that received the highest rating for a particular component. For 18 of the 20 components, the leading states received a rating of 4 on a scale of 0 to 4. For Component #18 and Component #19, no states received a 4, so the leading states are those that received a rating of 3. Table 2 lists the leading states for each component. Table 2: The Leading States for the 20 of the National Alliance Model Law of a Strong Law Leading States 1 No Caps (21 states) Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wyoming 2 A Variety of s Allowed (32 states) 3 Multiple Authorizers Available (13 states) 4 Authorizer and Overall Program Accountability System Required (3 states) 5 Adequate Authorizer Funding (4 states) 6 Transparent Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes (1 state) 7 Performance-Based Contracts Required (1 state) 8 Comprehensive Monitoring and Data Collection Processes (13 states) Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah District of Columbia, Hawaii, Washington Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Washington Louisiana Maine Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina 10 NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

11 Leading States for the 20 of the National Alliance Model Law of a Strong Law 9 Clear Processes for Renewal, Nonrenewal, and Revocation Decisions (6 states) 10 Educational Service Providers Allowed (6 states) 11 Fiscally and Legally Autonomous s with Independent Boards (27 states) 12 Clear Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Lottery Procedures (2 states) 13 Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations (4 states) 14 Automatic Collective Bargaining Exemption (24 states) 15 Multischool Contracts and/or Multicharter Contract Boards Allowed (12 states) 16 Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access (1 state) 17 Clear Identification of Special Education Responsibilities (12 states) 18 Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding (1 state) 19 Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities (4 states) 20 Access to Relevant Employee Retirement Systems (13 states) Leading States Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, Washington Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington District of Columbia, Maine Arizona, District of Columbia, Louisiana, Oklahoma Arizona, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Wyoming Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Texas, Washington South Carolina Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania New Mexico California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Utah Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 11

12 ALASKA Below is a general summary of Alaska s law. For a detailed profile, go to: law-database/ak 39 Rank (out of 43) ,123 Points (out of 228) Year Law Was Enacted s in Students in Changes in 2014 Alaska s score increased from 67 points to 78 points. The score changed for Component #3 (Multiple Authorizers Available), Component #5 (Adequate Authorizer Funding), and Component #18 (Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding) because of legislation that the state enacted in Its ranking moved from #40 to #39. Recommendations Alaska s law does not cap public charter school growth and includes an appellate mechanism for charter applicants rejected by local school boards, but it also provides little autonomy, insufficient accountability, and inequitable facilities funding. Alaska s law still needs major improvement. Potential starting points include beefing up the law in relation to the model law s four quality control components (Components #6 through #9), increasing operational autonomy, and ensuring equitable access to capital funding and facilities. Not Ranked Health of the Movement Rank (out of 26) Summary of Alaska s Law of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight 1 No Caps The state does not have a cap A Variety of s Allowed Multiple Authorizers Available Authorizer and Overall Program Accountability System Required The state allows new start-ups, public school conversions, and virtual schools. The state allows two or more authorizing options in all situations but does not provide direct access to each option. There is some authorizing activity in one option but little activity in the other options. includes none of the elements of the model law s authorizer and overall program accountability system. 5 Adequate Authorizer Funding adequate authorizer funding. 6 Transparent Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes includes a small number of the model law s provisions for transparent charter application, review, and decisionmaking NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

13 ALASKA of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight Performance-Based Contracts Required Comprehensive Monitoring and Data Collection Processes Clear Processes for Renewal, Nonrenewal, and Revocation Decisions Educational Service Providers Allowed Fiscally and Legally Autonomous s with Independent Boards Clear Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Lottery Procedures Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations Automatic Collective Bargaining Exemption Multischool Contracts and/or Multicharter Contract Boards Allowed Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access Clear Identification of Special Education Responsibilities Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities Access to Relevant Employee Retirement Systems performance-based charter contracts. includes a small number of the model law s provisions for comprehensive charter school monitoring and data collection includes a small number of the model law s clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions. includes none of the model law s provisions for educational service providers. includes none of the model law s provisions for fiscally and legally autonomous schools with independent public charter school boards includes a small number of the model law s requirements for student recruitment, enrollment, and lottery procedures provides automatic exemptions from many state and district laws and regulations and requires all of a school s teachers to be certified. requires all charter schools to be part of existing collective bargaining agreements, but schools can apply for exemptions. is silent regarding these arrangements provides access to extracurricular and interscholastic activities at noncharter public schools. is silent about special education responsibilities and funding. equitable operational funding and equal access to all state and federal categorical funding, and there is no evidence of the amount of funds public charter students receive versus district students. includes a small number of the model law s provisions for equitable access to capital funding and facilities. requires participation in the relevant employee retirement systems TOTAL POINTS 78 MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 13

14 ARIZONA Below is a general summary of Arizona s law. For a detailed profile, go to: law-database/az 12 Rank (out of 43) ,672 Points (out of 228) Year Law Was Enacted s in Students in Changes in 2014 Arizona s score increased from 147 points to 151 points. The score change happened because of new data for Component #18 (Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding). Its ranking moved from #16 to #12. Recommendations Arizona s law does not have a cap on public charter growth, allows multiple authorizing entities, and provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability to its public charter schools. However, the law still provides inequitable funding to public charter students by barring their access to significant buckets of funding. Potential areas for improvement in Arizona s law include ensuring authorizer accountability, providing adequate authorizer funding, and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities. 14 Health of the Movement Rank (out of 26) Summary of Arizona s Law of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight 1 No Caps The state does not have a cap A Variety of s Allowed Multiple Authorizers Available Authorizer and Overall Program Accountability System Required The state allows new start-ups, public school conversions, and virtual schools. The state allows two or more authorizing paths in all situations, with direct access to each option. There is considerable activity in at least two of those options. includes a small number of the elements of the model law s authorizer and overall program accountability system. 5 Adequate Authorizer Funding includes a small number of the model law s provisions for adequate authorizer funding. 6 Transparent Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes transparent charter application, review, and decisionmaking NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

15 ARIZONA of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight Performance-Based Contracts Required Comprehensive Monitoring and Data Collection Processes Clear Processes for Renewal, Nonrenewal, and Revocation Decisions Educational Service Providers Allowed Fiscally and Legally Autonomous s with Independent Boards Clear Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Lottery Procedures Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations Automatic Collective Bargaining Exemption Multischool Contracts and/or Multicharter Contract Boards Allowed Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access Clear Identification of Special Education Responsibilities Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities Access to Relevant Employee Retirement Systems performance-based charter contracts. includes many of the model law s provisions for comprehensive charter school monitoring and data collection includes many of the model law s clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions. includes a small number of the model law s provisions for educational service providers. includes many of the model law s provisions for fiscally and legally autonomous schools with independent public charter school boards. includes many of the model law s requirements for student recruitment, enrollment, and lottery procedures provides automatic exemptions from many state and district laws and regulations and does not require any of a school s teachers to be certified does not require any charter schools to be part of existing collective bargaining agreements. allows both of these arrangements but does not require each school to be independently accountable for fiscal and academic performance. is silent about charter eligibility and access is clear on the responsibility for providing services but not on funding for low-incident, high-cost services. equitable operational and categorical funding, but evidence demonstrates an equity gap between district and charter students of between 10 percent and 19.9 percent. equitable access to capital funding and facilities. provides access to relevant employee retirement systems but does not require participation TOTAL POINTS 151 MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 15

16 ARKANSAS Below is a general summary of Arkansas law. For a detailed profile, go to: law-database/ar 30 Rank (out of 43) Points (out of 228) Year Law Was Enacted s in Changes in 2014 Arkansas score remained at 128 points. Its ranking went from #29 to #30. Recommendations While Arkansas law has a cap on public charter school growth, it is structured in a way that allows ample growth. Although the state law provides adequate accountability provisions, it includes only a single authorizing path and provides inadequate autonomy and inequitable funding to charters. Potential areas for improvement include creating additional authorizing options, increasing operational autonomy, and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities. 16, Students in Health of the Movement Rank (out of 26) Summary of Arkansas Law of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight 1 No Caps The state has a cap with room for ample growth A Variety of s Allowed Multiple Authorizers Available Authorizer and Overall Program Accountability System Required The state allows new start-ups, public school conversions, and virtual schools. The state allows one authorizing option, and between 12 schools and 49 schools are authorized. includes many of the elements of the model law s authorizer and overall program accountability system. 5 Adequate Authorizer Funding includes none of the model law s provisions for adequate authorizer funding. 6 7 Transparent Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes Performance-Based Contracts Required includes many of the model law s provisions for transparent charter application, review, and decisionmaking performance-based charter contracts NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

17 ARKANSAS of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight Comprehensive Monitoring and Data Collection Processes Clear Processes for Renewal, Nonrenewal, and Revocation Decisions Educational Service Providers Allowed Fiscally and Legally Autonomous s with Independent Boards Clear Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Lottery Procedures Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations Automatic Collective Bargaining Exemption Multischool Contracts and/or Multicharter Contract Boards Allowed Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access Clear Identification of Special Education Responsibilities Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities Access to Relevant Employee Retirement Systems includes all of the model law s provisions for comprehensive charter school monitoring and data collection includes all of the model law s clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions. includes none of the model law s provisions for educational service providers. fiscally and legally autonomous schools with independent public charter school boards. includes some of the model law s requirements for student recruitment, enrollment, and lottery procedures allows schools to apply for exemptions from state and district laws, including from certification requirements requires some charter schools to be part of existing school district personnel policies. allows an independent public charter school board to oversee multiple schools linked under a single contract with independent fiscal and academic accountability for each school. is silent about charter eligibility and access clearly addresses responsibility for providing services and ensures state funding for low-incident, high-cost services. equitable operational funding and equal access to all state and federal categorical funding, and evidence demonstrates an equity gap between district and charter students of greater than 30 percent. includes a small number of the model law s provisions for equitable access to capital funding and facilities. requires participation in the relevant employee retirement systems TOTAL POINTS 128 MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 17

18 CALIFORNIA Below is a general summary of California s law. For a detailed profile, go to: law-database/ca 11 Rank (out of 43) , ,172 Points (out of 228) Year Law Was Enacted s in Students in Changes in 2014 California s score decreased from 156 points to 152 points. The score change happened because of new data for Component #18 (Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding). Its ranking went from #9 to #11. Recommendations California s law has a cap that allows ample growth, provides a robust appellate process, provides a fair amount of autonomy but lacks some aspects of accountability, and has made notable strides in recent years to provide more equitable funding to public charters, although some work still remains. Potential areas for improvement in its public charter law include strengthening authorizer accountability, beefing up requirements for performance-based charter contracts, and enacting statutory guidelines for relationships between public charter schools and educational service providers. 8 Health of the Movement Rank (out of 26) Summary of California s Law of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight 1 No Caps The state has a cap with room for ample growth A Variety of s Allowed Multiple Authorizers Available Authorizer and Overall Program Accountability System Required The state allows new start-ups, public school conversions, and virtual schools. The state allows two or more authorizing options in all situations but does not provide direct access to each option. There is considerable authorizing activity in at least two of those options. includes a small number of the elements of the model law s authorizer and overall program accountability system. 5 Adequate Authorizer Funding adequate authorizer funding. 6 Transparent Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes transparent charter application, review, and decisionmaking NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

19 CALIFORNIA of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight Performance-Based Contracts Required Comprehensive Monitoring and Data Collection Processes Clear Processes for Renewal, Nonrenewal, and Revocation Decisions Educational Service Providers Allowed Fiscally and Legally Autonomous s with Independent Boards Clear Student Recruitment, Enrollment, and Lottery Procedures Automatic Exemptions from Many State and District Laws and Regulations Automatic Collective Bargaining Exemption Multischool Contracts and/or Multicharter Contract Boards Allowed Extracurricular and Interscholastic Activities Eligibility and Access Clear Identification of Special Education Responsibilities Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding Equitable Access to Capital Funding and Facilities Access to Relevant Employee Retirement Systems includes a small number of the model law s provisions for performance-based charter contracts. includes many of the model law s provisions for comprehensive charter school monitoring and data collection includes many of the model law s clear processes for renewal, nonrenewal, and revocation decisions. includes a small number of the model law s provisions for educational service providers. includes many of the model law s provisions for fiscally and legally autonomous schools with independent public charter school boards. includes many of the model law s requirements for student recruitment, enrollment, and lottery procedures. provides automatic exemptions from many state and district laws and regulations and requires some of a school s teachers to be certified. does not require any charter schools to be part of existing collective bargaining agreements. allows either of these arrangements but requires only schools authorized by some entities to be independently accountable for fiscal and academic performance. does not explicitly address charter eligibility and access, but under the state s statutorily defined permissive education code, these practices are permitted since they are not expressly prohibited. clearly addresses responsibility for providing services and ensures state funding for low-incident, high-cost services. Evidence demonstrates an equity gap between district and charter students of between 20 percent and 29.9 percent, but recent policy changes have likely reduced this gap. includes many of the model law s provisions for equitable access to capital funding and facilities. provides access to relevant employee retirement systems but does not require participation TOTAL POINTS 152 MEASURING UP TO THE MODEL: A RANKING OF STATE CHARTER SCHOOL LAWS (2015) 19

20 COLORADO Below is a general summary of Colorado s law. For a detailed profile, go to: law-database/co ,141 6 Rank (out of 43) Points (out of 228) Year Law Was Enacted s in Students in Changes in 2014 Colorado s score decreased from 163 points to 159 points. The score change happened because of new data for Component #18 (Equitable Operational Funding and Equal Access to All State and Federal Categorical Funding). Its ranking went from #5 to #6. Recommendations Colorado s law does not cap public charter school growth, provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability to charters, and provides multiple authorizers or a robust appellate process for charter school applicants. However, it still provides inequitable funding to public charters. Potential areas for improvement in the law include clarifying student recruitment, enrollment, and lottery procedures and enacting statutory guidelines to govern the expansion of high-quality charter schools through multischool charter contracts and/or multicharter contract boards. 12 Health of the Movement Rank (out of 26) Summary of Colorado s Law of Strong Law Current Component Description Rating Weight 1 No Caps The state does not have a cap A Variety of s Allowed Multiple Authorizers Available Authorizer and Overall Program Accountability System Required The state allows new start-ups, public school conversions, and virtual schools. The state allows two or more authorizing options in some but not all situations, with direct access to each option. There is some authorizing activity in at least two of those options. includes some of the elements of the model law s authorizer and overall program accountability system. 5 Adequate Authorizer Funding includes many of the model law s provisions for adequate authorizer funding. 6 Transparent Application, Review, and Decisionmaking Processes includes many of the model law s provisions for transparent charter application, review, and decisionmaking NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS

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