Home ESTILOS-INFORMACOMUNIDAD Florida Tops 2024 National Charter School Law Rankings

Florida Tops 2024 National Charter School Law Rankings

by Soraya Alcalá
State charter policies are improving overall, but gaps in education opportunity remain

State charter policies are improving overall, but gaps in education opportunity remain

State charter school policies are improving in many states, according to the 2024 National Charter School Law Rankings & Scorecard released today by the Center for Education Reform (CER). The progress is a result of states making charter school laws more expansive, more flexible and better funded. Despite some progress, a number of states have failed to amend their laws or have erected new barriers to charter school expansion.

Florida, Arizona, and Washington, DC, are the only states to earn an “A” in the report. Florida narrowly edged out Arizona for the top spot, with Florida making facilities funding more equitable for schools and having a greater proportionate share overall of charter schools and students.

Eleven states moved up in the rankings and eight states lost ground, including California and Massachusetts.

You can view the 2024 Scorecard here.

 

While the latest scorecard is encouraging, there are still huge gaps in the number of opportunities offered to students in most states. With students still struggling to recoup pandemic-related learning losses which have disproportionately impacted underserved students, the better learning opportunities charter schools provide should be a non-negotiable in every state for reversing this trend,” said CER’s Jeanne Allen.

 

Strong laws result in stronger and better education and that’s why state leaders must pay attention to how their policies affect precisely what charter laws are supposed to do — the proliferation of great new public school opportunities for kids, especially those who need them the most,” she said.

 

Since 1996, the National Charter School Law Rankings & Scorecard has examined every charter school law and regulation in the country to determine how they work in practice and whether they accomplish their goal of creating a healthy, flourishing environment for charter schools to open and deliver great options for students.

The rankings score the laws in each state on a range of practices and policies, including charter school authorizers, growth, operations, and equity. States that provide opportunities to start and expand charter schools, fund charter schools equitably with traditional public schools, give charter schools freedom and autonomy, and have multiple, independent charter school authorizers tend to score higher than states that constrict charter schools with copious rules and regulations and rely solely on state boards or commissions to serve as authorizers.

Three states—Wyoming, Virginia, and Kansas—received “Fs.” Wyoming dropped from a “D” to an “F” because there have been no significant changes or improvements in its chartering laws or environment since 2022. Massachusetts dropped from 14th in the nation in 2022 to 24th in 2024.

“Each poor grade should be a stark reminder to lawmakers that students and families in their state are being deprived of education equity, with severe and lasting consequences,” Allen said.

As of 2024, there are nearly 8,000 charter schools across the country serving 3.4 million students. Forty-six states and Washington, DC, have charter school laws, but as the National Charter School Law Rankings & Scorecard demonstrates, many state laws are unproductive and need to be strengthened.

Charter school laws are critical in shaping the overall policy environment that allows charter schools to flourish and without a strong law, states deny citizens the opportunity to create them.

As a result of its importance in assessing how much power parents have, the National Charter School Law Rankings & Scorecard is a key indicator of the Parent Power! Index 2024, which assesses the extent to which states provide parents with the power to make fundamental decisions governing their child’s education.

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