In 2013, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools worked to champion charter interests in two separate pieces of federal legislation and to strengthen charter laws in several states around the country, according to its annual report.
Among the charter advances at the federal level in which the organization claimed a role:
- securing the support of an additional 24 members in Congress, bringing the total number of legislators supporting charter schools to 75
- successfully advocating for a provision in the House reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (currently known as the No Child Left Behind act) that will allow charter school leaders to participate in conversations about the distribution of Title I funds
- the passage of an amendment to the National Defense Act that no longer requires online charter school students to score higher than students in regular schools on qualification exams in order to be considered for the armed forces.
Among its state-level victories, the NAPCS counts laws in several states aiming to strengthen charter schools or shield them from changes. They include:
- Passage of a law in Mississippi that will allow for 15 charter schools to open there. Previously, the state had a charter law but no charter schools in operation
- Helping to prevent the passage of 26 different pieces of legislation in Maine that would have changed the charter law in a way the organization did not support. Although some of those bills did pass the legislature, they were eventually vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican and charter supporter
- Assisting in the passage of an Idaho law that made it even easier for charters there to operate by allowing more authorizers the authority to oversee charter schools and providing financial assistance to charters for facilities
- Providing resources for making Kentucky the 43rd state to pass a charter school law by drumming up support for such a law.
Check out the full report for a snapshot of pro-charter victories during 2013, as well as an in-depth look at the work done at the NAPCS.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.