A look at charter school proposals and approvals

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers has released an analysis of charter school proposals and approvals in 20 states. The report includes data on types of charter schools, operator types, and funding sources.

A few findings:

  • From 2013-14 to 2017-18, the most common charter school model to be proposed was a “general” model that didn’t fit into any specific category. These schools made up 29% of proposals and had an approval rate of 42%. The next most common model was a blended/hybrid school, making up 16% of proposals, with a 34% approval rate.
  • The charter school model with the highest approval rate (64%) was the diverse by design school, but these made up only 1% of proposed schools.
  • “No Excuses” schools are declining in popularity, making up only 7% of proposals in 2017-18, down from 14% in 2013-14. During the same period, approval rates declined from 65% to 39%.
  • Over the entire time period studied, most charter school proposals came from freestanding operators who are not part of a charter network (55% in 2017-18). Proposals from for-profit education management organizations reached an all-time low of 10% in 2017-18. Nonprofit charter management organizations made up 34% of proposals. However, schools that were part of a network were more likely to be approved.
  • Schools that indicated they were receiving support from a community organization, a philanthropic group, or a charter school incubator (or, preferably, a combination) had higher approval rates that those that did not include such support in their plans.

Source: National Association of Charter School Authorizers. (2019, March). Reinvigorating the pipeline: Insights into proposed and approved charter schoolsChicago, IL: Author.

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