Restarting struggling schools as charter schools is an important turnaround strategy, as well as a means of replication for high-quality charter school networks across the country. This is why in August 2015, the National Alliance issued the report, Chartering Turnaround: Leveraging Public Charter School Autonomy to Address Failure so that we could explore the role of charter schools in providing students in struggling schools with access to a high-quality education. This report profiled the work of three charter management organizations (CMOs) that used the charter school restart model to turn around poorly performing schools in Camden, NJ, Nashville, TN, and Los Angeles, CA.
The experiences of these CMOs proved that while improvement is possible, it is also very hard work. An effective authorization process for these schools can make a huge difference in whether or not they will be successful.
Thankfully, help has arrived in the form of the School Restart Authorization Process Guide from Public Impact and EdPlex. This detailed resource provides authorizers, operators, and support organizations with step-by-step guidance about what authorizers, school operators, and support organizations should consider when designing or refining a restart process.
Charter management organizations have to clear a number of hurdles before the restart process begins, including finding start-up funding. This is why, in addition to the restart process guide and website, The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have developed a new funding opportunity for school authorizers and support organizations (including state educational agencies): the Kickstart School Restart (KSR). These grants are intended to support a cohort of charter school authorizers that are interested in strengthening their restart authorization practices. KSR is offered at no cost to authorizers through the generous support of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Learn more and apply for KSR.
If you are interested in learning more about how charter school restarts work, check out Chartering Turnaround: Leveraging Public Charter School Autonomy to Address Failure.