The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools recently published a new report entitled, “Assessing the Increasing Strength of Charter Laws”. The report analyzes state charter school laws against the Alliance’s model charter law for the years of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
It should come as no surprise that in every one of those years that Minnesota’s charter law received the highest ranking, given that the model law incorporated many aspects of Minnesota’s first and second generation charter law.
The report indicates that over the last six years a significant number of states have strengthened their respective laws in terms of eliminating caps, enacting performance contracting, transparent charter application processes, authorizer accountability, to mention a few areas.
While Minnesota’s law continues to receive the highest ranking – first in the nation – that does not mean we do not need to continue to constantly improve our law as the chartered school movement evolves and grows.
As we look forward to the 25th anniversary of Minnesota’s first in the nation charter law – there are areas there are areas that need to be addressed, including; direct facility ownership and financing, equitable per pupil funding, and restoring autonomy and redefining accountability to allow charters to fulfill the purposes of chartering spelled out in the law.