Wisconsin’s charter school law ranks 37th among the 43 states that have approved charter school laws, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ (NAPCS) annual ranking of state charter school laws.
Minnesota’s law ranked first and Mississippi’s charter school law remained last. Now in its fourth year, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws ranks each of the country’s 43 state charter school laws. Each state receives a score on its law’s strength based on the 20 essential components from the NAPCS model law, which include measuring quality and accountability, equitable access to funding and facilities and limited caps on charter school growth.
“Wisconsin law needs a major overhaul in several areas, including providing additional authorizing options, ensuring authorizer accountability, providing adequate authorizer funding, beefing up the law in relation to the model law’s four quality control components, increasing operational autonomy, and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities,” said Todd Ziebarth, vice president, state advocacy and support, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Ziebarth is the lead author of the report.
“Wisconsin’s ranking demonstrates the need for substantive changes to our 20-year old charter school law,” said Carrie Bonk, executive director, Wisconsin Charter Schools Association. “Governor Scott Walker said in his recent State-of-the-State address that he believes every child should have access to a great education and indicated that he would be making changes to the charter school law. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to move Wisconsin from the bottom of the list to the top of the list.”
“Milwaukee’s independent charter schools are the highest-performing sector of public schools in our city. This report shows that we can’t rest and need to do so much more to ensure these schools are funded and autonomous at a level that allows them to expand quality options for students,” said Sean Roberts, deputy director, Milwaukee Charter School Advocates.