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ERIC Number: ED539304
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Terms of the Deal: A Quality Charter School Contract Defined. Authorizing Matters. Issue Brief
Haft, William
National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NJ1)
A contract is about commitment and responsibility. It is about the commitment that two or more parties make and the responsibility to deliver on those commitments. When school developers and authorizers turn a charter application into a contract, the relationship transforms: it shifts from aspiration to expectation and from theory to practice. The charter application contains the aspirations and theories of what the school can be. The contract defines the practical expectations for what, in fact, the school will become. The contract is the embodiment of the autonomy-for-accountability bargain and the commitments of both parties. The authorizer commits to entrusting public dollars and public school students to the independent governing board of the school. It also commits to giving the governing board more flexibility in how it operates the school than is afforded traditional public schools. In return, the school's governing board commits to handling the funds responsibly, complying with its legal obligations, and educating the students well. The contract is what makes school-based autonomy and accountability real and thus is critical for making the charter school concept work. This Issue Brief presents the legal framework in which the contract operates, the categories that the material terms should cover, and limitations on the scope. The purpose is to provide the reader with an overview of how to develop a quality charter school contract. (Contains 8 endnotes.)
National Association of Charter School Authorizers. 105 West Adams Street Suite 3500, Chicago, IL 60603. Tel: 312-376-2300; Fax: 312-376-2400; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Charter School Authorizers
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990; Civil Rights Act 1964 Title VI; Education Amendments 1972; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 1974; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001; Title IX Education Amendments 1972