DENVER, CO — Today, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released its annual state-by-state ranking of public charter school laws, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Charter Public School Laws, Tenth Edition. Colorado took second place for the second year in a row.
Colorado charter schools serve 123,000 students. Colorado’s law does not cap public charter school growth, provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability to charter schools, and provides multiple authorizers or a robust appellate process for charter school applicants. Colorado has also made notable strides in recent years to provide more equitable funding to charter public school students—although work remains to be done.
“I’m proud to see Colorado’s charter school law ranked second in the country,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This ranking confirms that Colorado has one of the nation’s strongest charter school sectors, characterized by charter school authorizing and oversight practices that recognize and reward strong performance for all students. With 255 schools serving more than 123,000 students all across the state, we’re seeing that charter schools are an integral part of the public education landscape here in Colorado and I look forward to working with the charter school community to make sure Colorado has the strongest structures to ensure charter schools continue to serve students and families well.”
Potential areas for improvement in the law include continuing to strengthen equitable access to capital funding and facilities and strengthening accountability for full-time virtual charter schools.
“Colorado doesn’t just have one of the strongest charter laws in the nation. Our state statutes provide an excellent framework in which for the charter movement to grow, thrive and effectively serve a diversity of learners and families statewide. Currently, 85 percent of our charter schools are authorized by districts, which reinforces community ownership and local leadership. Most of our charter schools have been started by parents and educators from the grassroots. We’re very proud that the 255 Colorado charter schools are delivering innovative, quality options to 123,000 students in grades PreK-12 while remaining fully accountable to the public. We are so grateful to our legislative champions and advocacy allies on both sides of the aisle for helping us to achieve such resounding success,” said Colorado League of Charter Schools President, Ben Lindquist.
The National Alliance’s 2019 rankings measure each state’s charter school law against the “gold standard” model charter school law, A Model Law for Supporting the Growth of High-Quality Charter Schools: Second Edition, released in October 2016. The Tenth Edition of Measuring Up to the Model ranks public charter school laws in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Each law receives a score based on 21 essential metrics, including accountability, flexibility, and funding equity.
“As we begin National School Choice Week, the timing is right to recognize the role charter schools play in strengthening the public education system as a whole,” said National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees. “As the report shows, many states are improving the quality of their charter school laws. At the same time, we recognize that until every state has a high-quality law—and every student who wants to attend a charter school is able to—our work is not done. We look forward to working alongside policymakers, school leaders, and education advocates to ensure every state creates an environment for all students to succeed.”
For additional key findings from the report, please view the press release from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.
About the Colorado League of Charter Schools
The Colorado League of Charter Schools (The League) is a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to supporting charter schools in Colorado. The League is committed to helping these schools reach higher levels of student performance and overall success by providing information and resources, including technical support, advocacy, public relations assistance, professional development and much more. The League’s mission: to improve student achievement by supporting Colorado’s charter schools, positively reshaping the public-school landscape, and advancing opportunities for innovation and expanded high-quality public school choice.