Hot Sheet

A national study gives high marks to Colorado’s charter school laws

Author: Dan Njegomir - February 2, 2018 - Updated: February 2, 2018

(National Alliance for Public Charter Schools via YouTube)

Colorado is now No. 2 among all the states in a new report gauging the effectiveness of charter-school laws. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released it annual state-by-state rankings this week, “Measuring up to the model: a ranking of state public charter school laws,” and Colorado jumped three places since last year’s survey.

From an alliance press release announcing the latest rankings:

Moving up to second in the 2018 rankings — from fifth last year — Colorado’s law indicates constant innovation and improvement.

In 2017, Colorado enacted legislation that created equitable access to a local funding stream that most districts had refused to share with charter schools. This legislation is a critical step forward for the state as nearly 115,000 students attended charter schools in Colorado last year. Additionally, Colorado’s law does not cap charter school growth, provides a fair amount of autonomy and accountability, and provides a robust appellate process for charter school applicants.

Some 238 public charter schools around the state now serve about 115,000 Colorado public school students — 13 percent of all public school enrollment statewide — according to the Colorado League of Charter Schools. Colorado has been a national leader in establishing the publicly funded, autonomously run charters since the first laws implementing them were passed in the early 1990s.

Colorado Charter League President Ben Lindquist is quoted in the press release:

“…We’re most pleased with what this ranking signifies for Colorado’s families, who have a growing diversity of needs and deserve access to many distinctive, high-quality options. A strong charter school law is an essential component in providing all of our children with the public education options that they deserve in communities throughout our great state.”

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.