Connecticut 2016 State Policy Detail
PREDICTABLE FUNDING NEEDED FOR PREDICTABLE ENROLLMENT
Connecticut has worked to make charters more transparent and accountable through the implementation of many 2015 policy reforms and by changing the practices of the only authorizer. Connecticut should continue this work to ensure authorizing policies and practices are consistently high quality. This must include reforms to the charter school appropriations process.
- Endorse professional standards for charter school authorizing.
- Simplify the annual charter school approval and appropriation mechanism to make funding levels more predictable for charter schools. Connecticut has an unusual charter school funding process that requires the Legislature to appropriate funding annually for each charter school seat through a budgetary line item. This process was further codified in 2015 through the initial certification process, described in the Score: Details & Context on the next page, whereby approval of a charter petition does not go into effect until funding is appropriated, often fewer than three months before the start of the school year. This process creates uncertainty for students and families at new schools, at existing schools, and at those tentatively approved to expand.
- Implement a strong CMO whole-school management review process to ensure the primacy of the charter contract and a clear delineation of each party’s roles and responsibilities.