The Charter Blog

Opportunity Knocks as Bill Arrives to Governor McAuliffe's Desk

Virginia’s legislature approved a plan last month which, if signed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, would create a new pathway for the approval of charter schools in areas with persistently struggling schools.

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Posted in state advocacy, Virginia

Celebrating the 2009 Model Charter School Law

Tomorrow the National Alliance is releasing a new charter school model law to serve as a resource for state legislators and advocates as they design and implement charter laws. Today we celebrate the accomplishments of the previous model law with our Senior Director of State Advocacy Russ Simnick.

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Posted in state advocacy, model law

The Apprehension of the Charter School Movement in Fairfax County

When Fairfax Leadership Academy was endorsed by the Virginia Board of Education, the future of charter schools in Fairfax County became a little bit brighter. The founder of Fairfax Leadership Academy, Eric Welch, is a longtime Fairfax County public school teacher and administrator who works at JEB Stuart High School. Welch coordinates Stuart's college readiness program, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), that prepares students in their pursuit of higher education. His work in bettering one of the lower-performing high schools in Fairfax County has been a constant effort. Through his work, Welch noticed a significant population of his students were underserved with the traditional public school system. So he did something about it.

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Posted in state advocacy

School Year on the Brink: Lessons Learned from a Successful Campaign That Saved Washington State’s Charter School Sector

Washington State’s Supreme Court ruling on charter schools in September 2015 thrust charter schools across the state – and the families of students attending them – into crisis. Confronted with the possibility that their excellent new schools could close, parents, advocates, and educators saw no other option other than to stand up and fight for legislation that would keep schools open and preserve their ability to exercise choice in the public education of their children.

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Posted in state advocacy

The Story Behind Oklahoma's First Rural Charter School

In Oklahoma, the political fault line is not drawn between Democrats and Republicans—It resides between urban and rural legislators. This rift explains why charter schools were only allowed to exist in the Oklahoma’s two largest urban counties in 2014 when the National Alliance and our state partners began working to expand charter school options throughout the state.

Armed with strong polling data showing that 80% of Oklahomans believed that all children in Oklahoma should have charter school options, the National Alliance went all in during the 2014 legislative session. We educated everyone we could, and had countless meetings with legislators, and community and political leaders—supporters and opponents alike. Despite those efforts, and the tremendous fight on behalf of charter schools by Oklahoma charter champions Rep. Lee Denney, Sen. Clark Jolley, and Gov. Mary Fallin, we were trounced in the House. The charter school bill died by a vote of 64-26, largely defeated by rural Republicans.

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Posted in state advocacy