Oklahoma Passes Comprehensive Charter School Reform

Unique combination of business groups, traditional schools and charter school advocates come together in the best interests for Oklahoma’s children

Chicago, Ill. – 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.

The bill includes measurable accountability provisions to ensure charter schools and authorizers hold up to their promises to parents and communities. Charter schools will be evaluated based on frameworks outlining goals for academic, financial and operational performance. Authorizers responsible for approving and monitoring schools will be required to develop policies and practices based on NACSA’s recognized principles and standards. They will also need to defend decisions to renew schools in the bottom five percent for two years.

This legislation wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all our partners: the Oklahoma State School Board Association, the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, the United Suburban Schools Association, Oklahoma Public Charter School Association (OPCSA), the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition (OBEC), Oklahoma Public School Resource Center (OPSRC), Stand for Children, the State Chamber of Oklahoma, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Tulsa Regional Chamber and the Oklahoma Educated Workforce Initiative.

We know that our mission to provide one million children with the opportunity to attend a better school will take a broad coalition of authorizers, school operators, school boards, lawmakers and others. Today the nation should look to Oklahoma as a model community devoted to great schools for all children.”

The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) is committed to advancing excellence and accountability in the charter school sector and to increasing the number of high-quality charter schools across the nation. To accomplish this mission, NACSA works to improve the policies and practices of authorizers—the organizations designated to approve, monitor, renew, and, if necessary, close charter schools. NACSA provides training, consulting, and policy guidance to authorizers. It also advocates for laws and policies that raise the bar for excellence among authorizers and the schools they charter. In late 2012, NACSA launched its One Million Lives campaign to give one million more children the opportunity to attend a great school. Visit www.qualitycharters.org

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