Virginia 2016 State Policy Detail
TIME FOR BIG CHANGES IN CHARTER LAW
Virginia failed to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to truly bring charter schools to the state but did secure the modernization of its charter contract and charter application law. Current policy essentially serves as a “shell law”—a placeholder, ready for additions and improvements to ensure stable, quality, and legally autonomous schools as well as a viable alternative authorizer.
NOTEWORTHY IN 2016
SCORE INCREASE: +1
- Performance Management and Replication (+1: Performance Frameworks). State law requires a charter school’s academic and operational performance goals to be based on performance frameworks.
- Create legally autonomous schools. Policy should ensure that schools have a legally autonomous governing board and autonomy in crucial areas of school operations.
- Create an alternative authorizer, such as the State Board of Education. Virginia is one of only two states that allow only LEAs to authorize charter schools and has no appeals system. This severely limits the growth of quality charter schools.
- Endorse professional standards for charter school authorizing.
- Create a strong renewal standard that directly links school academic performance to renewal.
- Require annual performance reports for all charter schools.