The Network for Public Education Releases its Investigative Report

The Network for Public Education has released an investigative report on charter schools, Charters and Consequences: An investigative series The report concludes that "unregulated, taxpayer-funded business model of education is a fiscal and educational disaster. Whatever the benefits it offers to the few, the overall negative consequences must be addressed." The report recognizes that “many families have come to depend on charter schools and that many charter school teachers are dedicated professionals who serve their students well. It is also true that some charter schools are successful.”  As such, it calls for the “eventual absorption” of Charter schools into the public school system, and support “legislation and regulation that will make charters better learning environments for students and more accountable to the taxpayers who fund them.”

The report sets out the following conditions for such legislation:

  • An immediate moratorium on the creation of new charter schools, including no replication or expansion of existing charter schools;

  • The transformation of for-profit charters to non-profit charters;

  • The transformation of for-profit management organizations to non-profit management organizations;

  • All due process rights for charter students that are afforded public school students, in all matters of discipline;

  • Required certification of all school teaching and administrative staff;

  • Complete transparency in all expenditures and income;

  • Requirements that student bodies reflect the demographics of the served community;

  • Open meetings of the board of directors, posted at least 2 weeks prior on the charter’s website;

  • Annual audits available to the public;

  • Requirements to follow bidding laws and regulations;

  • Requirements that all properties owned by the charter school become the property of the local public school if the charter closes;

  • Requirements that all charter facilities meet building codes;

  • Requirements that charters offer free or reduced-price lunch programs for students;

  • Full compensation from the state for all expenditures incurred when a student leaves the public school to attend a charter;

  • Authorization, oversight and renewal of charters transferred to the local district in which they are located; and

  • A rejection of all ALEC legislation regarding charter schools that advocates for less transparency, less accountability, and the removal of requirements for teacher certification.

Read the Network for Public Education's full report here.