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2019 Legislative Trends Impacting Authorizing: More Expectations and Protecting Autonomy (Part 1)

Tuesday, August 27, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jason Zwara
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Despite the tenor of the national rhetoric, 2019 was a quiet year for charter school legislation in statehouses across the country. That said, as we reflect on this year’s legislative activity, two trends highlight how policymakers are looking to authorizing as a lever to strengthen and grow their state charter school sectors.

This week, we’ll explore the first trend: legislation that either places more expectations on authorizers or protects and expands their autonomy. Next week, we’ll dive into states with diverging views on statewide authorizing.

Placing Additional Expectations for Authorizers

Seven states introduced bills that placed additional expectations on authorizers, though many of these bills either failed to reach a final vote or are still pending.

Bills with additional expectations for authorizers passed in two states. Nevada enacted authorizer-supported legislation requiring authorizers to conduct an academic needs assessment for the geographic area they cover, conduct three site visits during a charter school’s term, and develop action plans alongside schools for addressing deficiencies. Hawaii enacted legislation giving authorizers additional financial oversight, including granting them input on which independent auditor schools can use.

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