Charter School Legislation: State Rankings

Published January 1, 2003

The Center for Education Reform has developed a ranking of state charter laws, from strongest to weakest, based on how each law encourages or inhibits the development of autonomous charter schools. CER takes each of 10 criteria conducive to the creation of charter schools and awards each state’s specific charter school legislation a score of 0 to 5, based on how well the law meets each of the criteria (strongly support = 5; strongly restrict = 0).

CER defines strong or moderately effective charter laws as those which support, or are likely to support, at least some significant development of autonomous charter schools. Weak or ineffective laws are those that inhibit, or are unlikely to spur, significant charter activity.

Data Tables

About the Grades

“A” (40-50 score): Laws contribute positively to charter school growth and development, and allow for a significant number of schools.

“B” (30-39 score): Laws allow for healthy growth of charter schools but some significant provisions may impede growth.

“C” (20-29 score): Laws allow for a good number of schools, but pose significant challenges to a healthy charter environment.

“D” (10-19 score): Laws allow conventional education bureaucracies to regulate the establishment and operation of charter schools, which discourages the opening of schools.

“F” (0-9 score): Charter laws in name only, offering no real environment for charter school development.

George A. Clowes is managing editor of School Reform News. His email address is [email protected].