Education Commission of the States
Charter Schools
50-State Reports on Charter School Policies

CHARTER SCHOOL BASICS

1. Does the state have a charter school law?

2. Does the state allow existing public schools to convert to charter schools?

3. Is a charter school part of a local education agency (LEA) or its own LEA?

4. Does the state specify the charter schools or the students that may be given preference?

5. Does the state have any caps on the number of charter schools?

WHO CAN AUTHORIZE CHARTER SCHOOLS?

6. Does the state specify who may apply to open a charter school?

7. To whom can charter applicants apply?

8. Is there a statewide authorizing body?

9. Is there an appeals process for charter applicants?

10. Does the state provide technical assistance to charter schools?

ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SCHOOLS AND AUTHORIZERS

11. Does the state require charter schools to submit annual reports?

12. Does the state specify grounds for terminating or not renewing a school’s charter?

13. Does the state provide an appeals process in the charter school renewal process?

14. Has the state established standards for quality school authorizing that authorizers must meet?

15. Does the state set a threshold beneath which a school must automatically be closed (where the authorizer must close it)?

16. Does the state require the authorizer to report on the performance of their portfolio of schools?

17. Are there sanctions in place for authorizers?

CHARTER SCHOOL AUTONOMY

18. Are the state’s standards and assessments applied to charter schools?

19. What rules are waived for charter schools?

CHARTER SCHOOL FINANCE

20. Through whom does a charter school receive its funding?

21. How is the funding for a charter school determined?

22. Does the state provide start-up and/or planning grants to charter schools?

23.Does the state provide facilities funding or other facilities assistance to charter schools?

24. Does the state specify who must provide transportation to charter school students?

CHARTER SCHOOL TEACHERS

25. Do teachers in a charter school have to be certified?

26. What sets teacher salaries?

27. Does the state require school districts to grant teachers a leave of absence to teach in a charter school?

28. Are charter schools bound by school district collective bargaining agreements?

29. Do teachers in each of a state’s charter schools have equal access to the public school teachers’ retirement system?

CYBER OR VIRTUAL CHARTERS

30. Does state law explicitly define or permit cyber/virtual charter schools?

31. Is there additional oversight specific to cyber/virtual charter schools?

This database contains information about the state policies for charter schools in each state. From this database, you can generate profiles of the state policies for charter schools in individual states, and view 50-state reports on state policies for charter schools.

Key Takeaways

  • 42 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have charter school laws
  • Important, evolving elements of these state laws include:
    • Statewide authorizing bodies (33 states)
    • Standards for authorizers (quality school authorizing) (15 states and D.C.)
    • Requirements that authorizing bodies report annually on their portfolios of schools (15 states and D.C.)
    • Explicit performance thresholds below which charters must be revoked or non-renewed (11 states and D.C.)
    • Explicit attention to one type of charter: the Internet, or cyber charter (24 states define or permit; 20 outline elements of oversight).

Click on the map below or select a state:   Use left sidebar to browse 50-state reports.

US map American Samoa Virgin Islands Alaska Hawaii Puerto Rico Delaware Connecticut Maryland Rhode Island Washington DC

How the database was developed:

In compiling the information for this database, we reviewed each state’s statutes and recently enacted legislation concerning charter schools. State regulations might add additional nuance to what is found in statute.

Related ECS products:

Staff contact:

As with any compilation of information across the 50 states, the information is only as good as the information available. We welcome any corrections, additions, or changes. Please contact Kathy Christie, 303.299.3613 or kchristie@ecs.org with questions or comments about the database. (Last updated in June 2014)

 

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