ERIC Number: ED489327
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
A State Policymaker's Guide to Alternative Authorizers of Charter Schools. ECS Issue Brief
Hassel, Bryan; Ziebarth, Todd; Steiner, Lucy
Education Commission of the States (NJ3)
Since their inception, charter schools have been controversial. Because they often operate outside the direct control of school boards, superintendents and teachers unions, these entities usually view charter schools skeptically. The funding of charter schools also has provoked discomfort among these entities because they feel money is unfairly lost to charter schools when a student transfers from a non-charter public school to a charter public school. Lastly, although research about the academic performance of charter schools is emerging, a consensus on what the results mean remains elusive. Without that consensus, the debate about the effectiveness of charter schools is contentious. The type of entities that may authorize charter schools varies from state to state. During the 2004-05 school year, there were over 800 charter school authorizers across the country. The vast majority-over 700-were local school boards. The rest were non-local school board authorizers, i.e., "alternative authorizers." Of the over 100 alternative authorizers, 44 were regional educational entities; 37 were universities and colleges; 22 were state boards, commissioners and departments of education; 17 were nonprofit organizations; five were independent special-purpose charter boards; and two were mayors and city councils. Appendix A contains information about which entities may authorize charter schools in each state. This paper's purpose is to help state policymakers think through what kind of alternative authorizing structures may make sense for their states. The paper presents the advantages, disadvantages and policy considerations for each of the seven types of alternative authorizers. In addition, it discusses the critical design issues facing states interested in creating alternative authorizers. (Contains 12 endnotes.) [The U.S. Department of Education's Public Charter Schools Program provided funding for this paper.]
Descriptors: Public Education, Charter Schools, Administrators, Power Structure, Administrative Organization, Educational Policy, State Government
Education Commission of the States, 700 Broadway, Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203. Tel: 303-299-3600; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Type: Guides - General; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.