With the rapid growth of charter schools and their increasing implications for traditional public schools, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) has launched the Charter School Resource Center, an online resource containing practical information and research to help state school boards associations and local school board members respond to charter legislation and policy in their states.
This comprehensive online tool focuses on the following key areas:
• Understanding of various state policies for charter schools and how they impact local school districts differently.
• Information on how to work with state legislatures when considering whether charter schools should be created and/or expanded.
• Guidance on assessing charter school applications and authorizing decisions with suggested questions and issues school boards should consider.
• Research addressing various elements of charter schools including student achievement.
“With a variation of state policy governing the oversight, operation and funding of charter schools, local school districts’ experience with charters varies substantially based on how state policy affects traditional public schools, “ said Michael A. Resnick, NSBA’s associate executive director for federal advocacy and public policy. “School board members can use the information on this website to respond to legislation in their states and to assess whether charters are a good fit in their communities.”
NSBA supports charter schools as a tool to renovate and boost student achievement, provided they are authorized by the local school boards in the communities where they are located. School boards currently authorize more than half of the nation’s 5,600 charter schools. The local school board is already the steward of public funds and accountability and should have the authority to decertify or not renew the charter of any school that fails to meet criteria set forth in the charter or as otherwise specified by the local school boards. NSBA also believes charter schools should have to abide by the same environmental, labor, due process, and fiscal laws as community public schools.
The Charter School Resource Center includes the following contents:
• Charter School Guide for School Board Members: Two new documents developed by NSBA give practical advice to school boards: “A School Board’s Guide To Understanding Charter Schools and Their Variations Across States” shows various types of charter schools and how they can impact traditional public schools; “A Charter School Toolkit for School Board Members” guides school boards in reviewing charter applications, including suggested questions school boards should ask and consider.
• NSBA Advocacy: NSBA’s position on charter schools, advocacy messages and happenings on Capitol Hill.
• Research: Information on research and articles about charter schools, including studies from NSBA’s Center for Public Education on a wide range of issues such as their impact on student achievement.
• In the News: Postings of charter school happenings across the country.
• State policy: Resources for charter school policy across the states.