Over the last decade a disturbing trend has occurred relative to new chartered public schools in Minnesota.
The trend is the growing number of new chartered schools being approved which do not open, or open with enrollments significantly below projections, or schools that close within a short time after opening.
While there are multiple factors for this trend, some more obvious than others, one thing we do know is that school developers need to provide better Market Information about the need and demand for a particular school in the application process.
It is for this reason the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools is proposing legislation to 1] Define what a Market Need and Demand Study entails, and 2] require a Market Need and Demand Study as a component of the application for a new charter school.
“Market Need and Demand Study” means a study that includes the following for the proposed locations or the school or additional site: a] current and projected demographic information; b] student enrollment patterns; c] information on existing schools and types of educational programs currently available; d] characteristics of proposed students and families; e] availability of properly zoned and classified facilities; and f] quantification of existing demand for the school or site.
The goal of this legislative proposal is three-fold:
1] Require school developers to better know the market for their proposed school and better make their case to an authorizer that the school will be successful and sustainable,
2] Provide authorizers with more consistent information about the potential success and sustainability of the school as they make their decision to authorizer or not authorizer a school,
3] Reduce the number of schools that are approved but never open or are not successful.
It is time for school developers to do a better job of making their case.
It is time for authorizers to be provided more consistent information about the market need and demand for a particular school.
It is time to reduce the number of schools that do not open or fail.
IT IS TIME FOR A MARKET NEED AND DEMAND STUDY FOR EACH PROPOSED SCHOOL