Session deadlines keep coming and bills keep moving. Monday night in Nevada the Senate unanimously passed AB 205, a comprehensive authorizing bill that institutes performance-based contracts, performance frameworks for each charter school, annual reports by authorizers on school performance, and the default closure of failing schools. The bill will now head back to the Assembly for concurrence and then on to the Governor. Meanwhile on Sunday in Minnesota the legislature passed HF 630, their comprehensive education bill, which includes a requirement that authorizers prepare annual reports on school academic, financial, and operational performance—a NACSA best practice.
Last week Nelson Smith and I were in South Carolina, talking with a variety of state officials and stakeholders about H 3853, a forward-thinking bill that contains strong provisions on charter school accountability. The bill sailed through the House with unanimous support and last week was voted out of the Senate K-12 Education Subcommittee. Next it has to get out of the full Education Committee and to the Senate floor before session adjourns on June 6th. The Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina is already planning for next year and we may see proposals on authorizer accountability, facilities, transportation, higher education authorizers, and virtual schools. Keep your eyes on South Carolina as a developing leader on authorizer policy.
We also continue to keep an eye on Texas as a conference committee convenes to hash out differences between the House and Senate versions of SB 2. We are hopeful that strong accountability provisions will remain a highlight of this sweeping legislation.