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For Immediate Release:2014-01-28
Press Contact: Tracy Young
phone: 512.584.8272
email: tyoung@txcharterschools.org

New Rankings Report Recommends a Focus on Funding and Facilities for Charters

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' Rankings Find Texas Charter School Laws Rank #23

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Texas' charter school laws rank #23 in the nation in terms of quality, according to an annual state-by-state ranking of charter school law quality released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Texas's ranking in this year's report moved up slightly from its rank of 24th the year prior. The report recommends that Texas policymakers focus on ensuring that charter schools receive equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities.

"Texas was an early adopter of public charter schools, and we were pleased with the updates made to the charter law last legislative session," said David Dunn, executive director of the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA). "TCSA worked to pass last year's legislation to ensure more quality charters are serving Texas students. While we are pleased with the progress, there is still more work to do on needed facilities funding for charter students."

Texas enacted a major piece of charter school legislation in 2013 that partially lifted the state's cap on charters, strengthened the types of entities allowed to authorize charters, and instituted quality control measures. Those measures included establishing clearer processes for renewals and closures, creating a streamlined process for replicating and renewing successful schools, and instituting automatic closure requirements.

Even so, the Texas ranking only increased slightly, because state law often applies different requirements to charters authorized by the state than those authorized by school districts, with the state-authorized provisions typically better. For example, the law's provisions for charter school autonomy are much better for state-authorized charters. In fact, if the report's analysis just focused on the provisions governing state-authorized charters, Texas' law would be in the top 10. However, since the analysis looks at how the law addresses both types of charters, Texas is ranked #23.

Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws ranks each of the country's state charter school laws. Each law receives a score based on 20 essential components from the National Alliance's model law on metrics such as quality and accountability, equitable access to funding and facilities, and no caps on charter school growth.

One of every 20 American children now attends public charter schools. More than 6,000 schools are teaching more than 2.5 million children. Eight states still remain without a charter school law: Alabama, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia. For more information, please visit the NAPCS website at www.publiccharters.org