New Hampshire 2016 State Policy Detail
SLUGGISH SECTOR RIPE FOR STRONG POLICY JUMPSTART
New Hampshire has a strong authorizer structure, but charter funding inequity and the lack of key authorizer quality and school accountability policies have led to inconsistent practices and laggard quality growth.
- Endorse professional standards for charter school authorizing.
- Require charter contracts and performance frameworks for all charter schools and all authorizers. New Hampshire is one of only six states that do not require a separate charter contract for all charter schools. In an unusual legal structure, schools authorized by LEAs are required to have charter contracts, but those authorized by the State Board of Education (SBE) are not. NACSA believes this is a drafting oversight—dating back to when the SBE could authorize only on appeal—that should be corrected immediately. Charter contracts and performance frameworks establish clear expectations for schools and authorizers and are an important component of charter school autonomy and accountability.
- Require all authorizers to report annually on the academic performance of their schools.
- Establish authorizer evaluations based on the performance of their portfolio of schools and their adherence to best practices in charter school authorizing. Authorizer evaluations increase transparency in the charter sector and ensure authorizers are fulfilling their responsibilities to charter schools and the public.