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Model Legislation for States Grounded in Experience and Practice

Report Reveals Need for Improved Education Laws

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
October 15, 2012

Today the Center for Education Reform (CER) released its much anticipated Model Legislation for States which illustrates a need by a majority of states to overhaul their laws governing charter schools.

More than half of states received a C or below on CER’s annual report card of charter school laws in April 2012, indicating a critical need for a clear and concise definition of what constitutes an effective charter school law. The Essential Guide to Charter School Lawmaking – Model Legislation for States is based on 20 years of experience working with charter school leaders, policymakers and legal experts and reflects what actually works – and what doesn’t – when it comes to ensuring sound charter school policy. This roadmap for advocates and policymakers focuses on the four critical components of strong charter laws: Independent and Multiple Authorizers, Number of Schools Allowed, Operations and Equity.

“Charter schools – public schools, open by choice, accountable for results and free from most rules and regulations that stifle progress in traditional schools – are permitted in 41 states and the District. This model legislation is not just for the nine states that have yet to adopt a charter school law, but for all states to use to amend weaknesses in their laws that limit these important educational options for kids,” said Alison Consoletti, CER’s vice president of research.

In addition to language that states can adopt when strengthening their charter school law, the report also highlights the work of several “exemplary states” including Michigan, New York, Indiana, Minnesota, Arizona, Florida, Missouri and the District of Columbia whose laws have created robust and highly accountable charter school options for parents and children.

“Having a law on the books just for the sake of saying ‘we have a charter law’ is no longer acceptable,” said Consoletti. “We know from decades of analysis that great charter schools come from strong laws. Demand is high. Lawmakers need to act to meet the needs of their students.”

Additional state-by-state research and analysis can be found at the Parent Power Index©.

**Get the Model Legislation for States report here**

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