Charter Schools

 Issue Brief and Resources

NEW: Charter School Resource Center

Uniformity is not a word that would be used to characterize public education in the United States, and it would be even less true of the charter school movement. Since its origin in the early 1990s, charters exist by virtue of state law in 80 percent or 40 of the 50 states. No two state charter laws are alike, and the range of their success and configuration is disparate.

The current, generally-agreed-upon definition of a charter school is a public school that is nonsectarian and operates under a contract or charter that governs its operation. Charter schools can be viewed as a model for education reform, as an alternative or choice, or as an escape from a difficult local situation. Quite often they are undertaken as an experiment with education innovation and/or a public education school choice.

Looking for more information? See what’s Inside Charter Schools on the right.

Additional Resources

NSBA Issue Brief: Charter Schools
Learn more about NSBA's position on charter schools.

Charter School Research Guide, February 2012
NSBA developed this guide to help school board members assess the quality of charter research and identify the limitations of its data and findings. It poses several questions that educators and policymakers should ask before making any determination on what the study is actually saying about the effectiveness of charter schools.

Charter Schools Research Guide - A Summary, February 2012

NSBA's Letter to Members on the House Education and Workforce Committee urging a 'No' vote on H.R. 2218
NSBA sent a letter to the House Education and the Workforce Committee urging Members to vote 'No' at a June 22, 2011 Markup on H.R. 2218 - the "Empowering Parents through Quality Charter Schools Act"

NSBA’s Statement on the Hearing on Charter Schools Before the House Committee on Education and Labor: February 24, 2010
The hearing was the first in a series scheduled for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

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