2016 State of Charter School Authorizing

Since 2008, NACSA has annually surveyed our nation’s authorizers. Along the way, we have learned about current practices, challenges, strengths, and shortcomings in authorizing. Survey findings provide an annual measuring stick for those in the field of authorizing, and they help education decision makers, foundations, legislators, and researchers inform their understanding of the field of charter school authorizing.

Read the 2016 Report  Older Reports (2008-2015)


The 2016 survey asked authorizers to complete 87 questions on a range of topics related to charter school authorizing, including application practices, closures, and renewal decision making.

NACSA collects data from authorizers of all portfolio sizes, but reports on large authorizers: those authorizers that oversee 10 or more schools. In 2015-16, 89 of the nation’s 108 large authorizers responded to our survey, a group that collectively oversees 4,189 charter schools, or 62 percent of charter schools across the country.

Authorizer and school counts for each state are based on data from the 2015-16 school year. During this time, both Alabama and Missouri did not have an independent chartering board (ICB) with active charter schools and were not included in the data. However, given both ICBs were reviewing applications during this time, we have considered them to be active authorizers for this report.