How State Lawmakers Affect Charter Schools

The way lawmakers affect charter schools could produce a profound effect on the way these educational structures operate. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reported that over 3.4 million students have enrolled in charter schools throughout the U.S. These students enjoy inclusive classrooms, real-world learning experiences, and a customized curriculum. Despite the many benefits, many charter schools face a shortage of funding and other problems that severely limit their capacity to serve students.

Lawmakers Affect Charter Schools in Many Ways

State lawmakers can combat this problem by advocating for policies that ensure charter schools have sufficient support. Learn about the policies that will help charter schools continue to thrive in the coming years.

Designate Funding to Schools

The most effective way that lawmakers can support charter schools is to invest in funding. Research suggests that charter schools may use their budgets more efficiently than other schools. However, they still often receive less funding than schools operated by a public school district. Legislators can invest in their communities and give charter students a better chance at success by supporting budgets that fully fund charter schools. It will also expand access to innovative new programs and cover staffing costs.

Advocate for Special Needs Students

Another great benefit of charter schools is their ability to serve students with special needs. Like every other school, charter schools must provide students with disabilities with a free appropriate public education. Additionally, charter schools must provide these students with reasonable accommodations to ensure that they can learn equitably. Legislators should support policies like the one recently passed in Colorado that grants charter schools the full legal authority to provide special education services to students with special needs.

Expand Certification Allowances

It’s no secret that there’s a nationwide shortage of teachers, and as the gap grows, schools are struggling to find solutions — and staff. Many charter schools have seemingly discovered a solution, though, as some schools have made moves to begin certifying their teachers with their own set of criteria. It has widely expanded the pool of educators that schools can use, thus ensuring that an optimal student-to-teacher ratio is maintained. It also opens the profession to many qualified educators who may not have previously been eligible for certification.

Reimbursing Schools for Leases

Because of the liminal public status of charter schools, they often have to lease their buildings. It can be a challenge to a school’s budget, but states like California have found a way to make it work. A lease reimbursement program allows charter schools to claim reimbursement for the funds spent renting their building. Though this program allows more school funding, it demands continuous legislative support. Thus, many states still have not yet implemented a program like this. Those who enrolled in charter schools can expect to get a significant experience. Educators Liability and Employment Liabilities can help those who teach these students, protecting them from liability.

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