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Press Releases / Statements


NACSA Congratulates Senior Advisor Nelson Smith, Newest Charter School Hall of Fame Inductee

June 8, 2015

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is pleased to congratulate Senior Advisor Nelson Smith on his election into the National Charter School Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes his long-standing contributions to charter schools and charter school authorizing.

For more than 15 years, Smith has been a champion for quality within the charter school community. His impact began as an authorizer—serving as the founding executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board, an organization that has grown into one of the best authorizing offices in the country. From there he launched the National Alliance for Public Charter School (NAPCS), an organization dedicated to advancing the quality, growth, and sustainability of charter schools. Serving as its first president and CEO, he helped shift the national charter conversation to quality by commissioning a report challenging the movement to focus as much on quality as it had on growth.

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NACSA Helps Build Charter School Authorizing Talent

June 4, 2015

Chicago, Ill. – Nearly 25 years after passing the nation’s first charter school legislation, Minnesota continues to lead charter school education with the launch of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) Innovation in Education Fellowship at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. The Fellowship is the first of its kind, designed to introduce emerging public policy leaders to charter school authorizing—the professionals responsible for approving, monitoring and renewing charter schools.


The yearlong, paid Fellowship is designed to provide hands-on experience that enhances students’ understanding of the critical issues impacting education reform. Each student will be placed at a local authorizing office, where he or she will work full-time in the summer and part-time during the academic year, while also receiving training and additional support from NACSA.

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Nevada Passes Legislation Creating State-Run District

June 2, 2015

Chicago, Ill. – Over the weekend, the Nevada legislature passed AB448, a significant piece of school reform legislation that will allow the state to transition its lowest-performing public schools to charter schools under the control of a newly created, state-run Achievement School District.

“NACSA congratulates Nevada on taking this notable step towards creating better educational opportunities for children. As we’ve seen in New Orleans and Tennessee, achievement school districts can be an effective tool to improving the quality of public school education statewide,” said Greg Richmond, president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).

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Greater Collaboration between Charter Authorizers and Lenders Can Ease School Facility Financing Burden, Report Concludes

May 7, 2015 

Chicago, Ill. – Today the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) released a joint report aimed at increasing conversation and understanding between lenders and charter school authorizers—two groups with similar interests, albeit different goals, in the success and sustainability of the charter schools they support.

The report, “Charter Lenders & Charter Authorizers: Can We Talk?” is the result of a working group hosted by both organizations that revealed little overlap currently exists between how lenders and authorizers share or evaluate data.

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NACSA Says American Enterprise Institute Report on Charter School Application Process Goes too Far, Calls for Focus on Balanced Authorizing Practices

May 19, 2015 

Chicago, Ill. – The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) released the following statement in response to the recommendations in a report on authorizer accountability released today by the American Enterprise Institute: 

“The American Enterprise Institute’s report, ‘The Paperwork Pile-up: Measuring the Burden of Charter School Applications,’ identifies an important challenge facing the charter community, but if implemented, the report’s recommendations would go too far and would disrupt the critical balance between autonomy and accountability."

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National Association of Charter School Authorizers Voices Support for the Senate HELP Committee’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization Bill

April 16, 2015 

Today, members of the U.S. Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) Committee reported out a bipartisan Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bill to the full Senate. In response, Greg Richmond, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), released the following statement of support: 

“NACSA strongly supports the Senate’s ESEA reauthorization bill and its preservation of federal requirements that each state maintain a state-level accountability system, including an annual state testing component, to identify failing schools. Accountability is good for all of public education, including charter schools."

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Oklahoma Passes Comprehensive Charter School Reform

April 15, 2015 

Today the Oklahoma Legislature passed SB 782, major charter school legislation that will ensure responsible growth of public charter schools and increase transparency for parents and communities throughout the state.

Greg Richmond, president and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) released the following statement:

“Today Oklahoma is a beacon of putting the interests of children first. This legislation represents many diverse interests coming together and recognizing that a charter law emphasizing strong accountability for schools and strong standards for authorizers is the way to balance quality charter school options with the interests of local community."

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NACSA Applauds Alabama Vote to Approve Charter School Legislation

March 19, 2015 

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) congratulates the Alabama General Assembly for passing Senate Bill 45 to become the most recent state to introduce charter schools as high-quality education options for its families.

NACSA commends the bill’s focus on school and authorizer accountability, incorporating all of NACSA’s recommended policies in those areas.

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NACSA Receives National Grant to Strengthen Charter School Quality Nationwide

March 17, 2015 

For more than a decade, the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) has led the effort to improve quality within the charter school community by helping authorizers set high standards, facilitate innovation, and protect the interests of students and the public. Today, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes the critical role of authorizers by awarding a $2.3 million National Leadership Activities Grant to NACSA for its Better Outcomes through Quality Authorizing (BOQA) Project.

This is NACSA’s second consecutive National Leadership Activities grant, a highly-competitive award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program, to support efforts to improve the quality of charter schools on issues of national significance and scope. The grant was submitted in partnership with the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Education Commission of the States (ECS), the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS), and Civil Rights Solutions (CRS).

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National Association of Charter School Authorizers Commends RSD Action to Deny Charter School’s Renewal

March 5, 2015 

Charter schools are about more than just test scores. They also have an obligation to treat all students fairly and appropriately and to spend public money properly. Most charter schools do just that, but the evidence indicates that New Orleans’ Lagniappe Academies has not.

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) commends the Louisiana Recovery School District (RSD) and Superintendent Patrick Dobard for acting to deny the renewal of the charter of Lagniappe Academies. We know that closing schools can be rending for everyone involved. But when it comes to children’s futures, it is worth the immediate hardship. Strong “authorizers”—the entities created by law to approve, monitor, and if necessary, close charter schools—know how to support the school community to make sure no child falls through the cracks in the transition to another school.

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