IT IS TIME BETTER MARKET RESEARCH

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.

PROPOSED DEFINITION

“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

A NEW DECADE – THE TIME FOR A NEW GENERATION OF THE LAW

The beginning of a new decade reminds us that in a short 18 months, Minnesota’s first-in-the nation chartered public school law will be 30 years old.  As we approach the 30th anniversary of the law it is clear that it is time for the next generation of the charter law based on the lived experience of chartering.

In late 2018, the Association’s membership ratified AN AGENDA to FULFILL THE PROMISE which outlined several reforms to the charter school law, as well as school funding of charters and facilities.

As we approach the 2020 legislative session it is our intent to put forth a policy bill based on that Agenda – The Charter School Transparency and Accountability Act of 2020.

While much of the work to advance the legislation will be undertaken by our lobbyist and staff, we need you to be engaged in telling your school’s story and the overall charter school story to your legislators.

We need you to be active participants in the Annual Charter School Day @ the Minnesota Capitol on Wednesday, March 4th.

It is time for charter schools to do a more focused effort to tell the story of how they are serving students, and It Is Time for the next generation charter school law.