School & District Management

Charter Schools Haven’t Broken Into The Preschool Market, Here’s Why

By Arianna Prothero — July 15, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Despite steady growth nationally, charter schools have yet to really break into the preschool market.

One major reason: Out-of-sync state charter and pre-K policies, according to a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning think tank.

The report analyzes the 35 states, plus the District of Columbia, that offer both charter school and state-funded pre-K programs.

In the vast majority of those states, charter schools face significant barriers to developing and running a state pre-K program.

Among them:


  • In nine states, charter or pre-K law doesn’t allow charter schools to offer preschool;
  • In 22 states, pre-K per pupil funding is much lower than what charters receive for K-12 students;
  • In 10 states, charter schools can not automatically enroll pre-K students in their kindergarten programs;
  • In nine states, it’s at the discretion of regular school districts whether they want to share pre-K funds with charter schools—many don’t.

Based on those and other factors, the report breaks down how “hospitable” each state is toward charter preschool programs.

The report argues these policies are preventing a powerful synergy between the two types of programs—both often leveraged to help low-income kids get ahead—from being realized.

Bellwether Education Partners’ Sara Mead (a noted pre-K expert) and Ashley LiBetti Mitchell wrote the report for the Fordham Institute, with funding from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the Joyce Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. Both the Walton and Joyce foundations provide some grant funding for Education Week, but the paper retains full editorial control of its content.

To see a state-by-state analysis of charter pre-K policies as well as recommendations for authorizers and state and federal policymakers, check out the full report here.

Related:

Graphic from ‘Pre-K and Charter Schools: Where State Policies Create Barriers to Collaboration’ by Sara Mead and Ashley LiBetti Mitchel.


Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Some Teachers Won't Get Vaccinated, Even With a Mandate. What Should Schools Do About It?
Vaccine requirements for teachers are gaining traction, but the logistics of upholding them are complicated.
9 min read
Illustration of a vaccine, medical equipment, a clock and a calendar with a date marked in red.
iStock/Getty
School & District Management A Vaccine for Kids Is Coming. 6 Tips for Administering the Shot in Your School
Start planning now, get help, and build enthusiasm. It's harder than it looks.
11 min read
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student at Topeka West, gets a COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
School & District Management Letter to the Editor School Mask Mandates: Pandemic, ‘Panicdemic,’ or Personal?
"A pandemic is based on facts. A 'panicdemic' is based on fears. Today, we have both," writes a professor.
1 min read
School & District Management How 'Vaccine Discrimination' Laws Make It Harder for Schools to Limit COVID Spread
In Montana and Ohio, the unvaccinated are a protected class, making it tough to track and contain outbreaks, school leaders say.
4 min read
Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
Bonnie Lower, a principal and district superintendent in Willow Creek, Mont., checks the temperature of a student as Willow Creek School reopened for in-person instruction in the spring.
Ryan Berry/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP