September 2018 Newsletter, Part 2

New NCSRC Dashboard Presents Deep Dive Into How States Use Charter Schools Program Funding

The largest portion of funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) goes to states, which then award subgrants to new, expanding, and replicating charter schools. The CSP awarded more than $144 million to nine states in 2017 and approximately $142 million to six states in 2016. The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) recently released an updated dashboard for the CSP that includes extensive data from the most recent round of State Entity (SE) grants. The online resource presents comprehensive data on each state’s activity and spending under these grants, with multiple levels of analysis of state activity as well as data on the location, status, and enrollment of all the schools receiving support under these programs. These dashboards allow users to review the state programs and activity of individual schools in each state supported by the CSP.

The new resources provide insight into CSP grantees that received awards through the SE program from Fiscal Year 2017. The NCSRC previously released dashboards on CSP State Education Agency (SEA) grants from Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016, which are now housed on the same platform as the new dashboard. The dashboard allows users to explore the details of each state’s CSP program and better understand the scope and scale of local efforts to support charter schools with CSP funds.

Each SE or SEA dashboard summarizes statistics, rolls up budgets, and provides details on subgrants to schools to develop a story of each state’s grant program. The SEA dashboards include information on dissemination activities, and the SE dashboards include information on each state’s technical assistance activities.

View the dashboards here.

Equality Coalition Briefs Address Important Topics to Support Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools

Ensuring that charter schools are appropriately open to students with disabilities and that they fulfill their public obligations to provide a free and appropriate public education to all students can be a challenge. The details of how to solve these challenges are affected by state charter law, which shapes how charter schools fit into the requirements of special education. To help explain these issues, a new set of policy briefs address key issues affecting special education in charter schools. The briefs were released by the Equity Coalition, which is a project of the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS). The Equity Coalition brings together a broad network that includes leading groups that advocate for students with disabilities throughout public education as well as groups in the charter school sector that share a mission of improving access for students with disabilities in charter schools. The briefs address issues such as the legal status of charter schools, including the impact of being a free-standing Local Education Agency (LEA) or a school that operates within an existing LEA or school district; the role of charter school authorizers in ensuring access and strong services for students with disabilities; and the role and impact of various infrastructures that can support charter schools’ work with students with disabilities.

Back to School: Update Your School's Directory Information for the 2018-2019 School Year

The NCSRC includes a national resource that lists Charter Support Organizations (CSOs) and charter schools in every state.  Do you need to update your school’s or CSO’s directory information for the 2018-2019 school year? You can find information on CSOs in your state by visiting the State Resources page of the NCSRC, while you can verify the details listed for your charter school by searching in our Directory. If you need to make changes, email info@safalpartners.com or send us a message here

NCSRC Resources

  • Charter School Enrollment: A Toolkit for Board Members 
    A recent toolkit published by the NCSRC in partnership with Charter Board Partners explores the role charter school governing boards have in enrollment. The toolkit provides information on student recruitment and enrollment, budget and enrollment timelines, and governance strategies that support recruitment and enrollment. It also explains the systems, structures, and policies a charter school board can implement to support enrollment.
     
  • Case Study: Deep Community Engagement at the Native American Community Academy (NACA)
    This NCSRC video case study showcases how the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque, NM is expanding its culturally-responsive, community-led model to improve academic achievement, proficiency, retention, graduation, and college attendance rates for Native American and Indigenous students. In the case study, NACA administrators, teachers, and students discuss how the school builds identity development and cultural instruction into their school’s framework.
     
  • SEA Webinar: The State Role in Supporting Charter Innovation
    In this interactive webinar, a panel of thought leaders representing foundations, researchers, authorizers, and former SEA officials share their thoughts on the state role in supporting charter innovation. In the webinar, they discussed the need for innovation as well as opportunities to support innovation or reduce state-level barriers to innovation through various tools, practices, and ideas. Along with a focus on removing obstacles to foster innovation, the webinar addressed designing activities through the CSP grant or broadly through the SEA to provide incentives for innovation. 

NCSRC Partner Resources

  • Inside Charter School Growth: The Emergence of Non-District Authorizers
    During the past five years, a significant shift has occurred within the national charter school landscape: for the first time, most charter schools are being opened under entities other than local school districts. As the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) explores in the new research, this trend could have both positive and negative implications for the pace of charter school growth, quality of charter schools, quality of oversight, and attributes of newly approved schools.
     
  • National Charter School Management Overview, 2016-17 
    This brief by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (the Alliance) provides updated statistics on the management structure for every charter school in the country. According to the Alliance, in 2016-17, 65 percent of charter schools were independently managed, 23 percent were part of a non-profit Charter Management Organization (CMO), and 12 percent were part of a for-profit Education Management Organization (EMO). The report details how, across the country, 180 CMOs and 54 EMOs served 43 percent of all charter school students in 2016-17. However, the prevalence of different management structures continues to vary significantly at both the state and local levels.

Education News

    • Puerto Rico Opens First Charter School
      The first charter school has opened in the community of Villa Prades in Puerto Rico. Proyecto Vimenti, which is run by the Boys & Girls Club of Puerto Rico, is the only charter school being put in place this semester by Governor Ricardo Roselló. The school aims to serve students living in poverty.
       
    • Alabama Charter Opens as First Integrated School in Sumter County  
      For the first time in Sumter County, Alabama, black students and white students are learning side-by-side in integrated public school classrooms at University Charter School. More than half of the school's 300-plus students are black, while just under half are white.
       
    • Clarksdale Collegiate Opens in Mississippi, Other Charters Planned
      Mississippi’s first rural charter school has now opened. Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School opened in the Mississippi Delta, with others planned. Clarksdale Collegiate will serve 150 kindergarteners through second graders and will eventually serve children through eighth grade.

    Events