CHARTING A WAY FORWARD:
Recommendations for Improving Charter School Outcomes and Accountability by Supporting Charter Authorizers
This report, commissioned by CCSESA, summarizes policy recommendations and best practices which, if implemented, would support county superintendents in their role as charter authorizers. Some of the recommendations can be locally implemented, while others require a legislative or regulatory change. All of the recommendations would help authorizers ensure that students attending charter schools are receiving the best education possible.
As authorizers of charter schools, County Offices of Education (COEs) recognize that we have a responsibility to ensure that charter petitions are fully vetted according to common standards, and that oversight of approved charter schools is practiced with uniformity, consistency, and scrutiny. It has become clear over the last several years that authorizers need additional tools and resources in order to do their jobs effectively and consistently. Even authorizers that follow best practice can sometimes find
themselves with a charter school that is facing public scrutiny and allegations of fiscal mismanagement. These risks are further increased when authorizers struggle with capacity and training.
County superintendents are committed to ensuring that all publicschool students, whether in a traditional school or a charter school, receive an appropriate and sound education. We will review a range of research and recommendations to ascertain and prioritize the issues that impede authorizers the most and identify solutions that will help to ensure county superintendents are empowered with the tools and resources they need to continue to manage all the public schools in their county.
“It has become clear over the last several years that authorizers need additional tools and resources in order to do their jobs effectively and consistently.”
The following issue areas are divided in to five categories. Each section includes a description of the issue and recommendations that, if adopted, would improve charter authorizing and oversight:
- Authorizer Resources & Training
- Authorization Process
- Fiscal Oversight & Accountability Tools
- Academic Oversight & Enforcement
- Appeals Process