- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 15, 2015

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A new study finds Louisiana ranks 10th in the country when it comes to state policies that promote a strong charter school sector.

The Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/1NPG4JT) the National Association of Charter School Authorizers gave Louisiana 24 points out of a possible 33 points. It also noted that 73 percent of the state’s charter schools are authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The analysis shows that Louisiana received all 15 possible points in the category of authorizer quality. Louisiana was noted for having a state law that requires authorizers to develop standards, which generally must comply with national standards. In addition, the association said there are sanctions possible for local charter school authorizers.

To open a charter school, an operator - such as Charter Schools USA or National Heritage Academies, which have schools in Lafayette - must receive approval from either a local school board or the state school board. An operator can appeal to the state level if it is rejected by local school officials. The Lafayette Parish School Board rejected CSUSA and NHA’s applications two years ago, but both were later authorized by BESE.

“State law allows sanctions for poor portfolio performance or failure to meet standards for quality authorizing,” the report stated. “Sanctions can include revocation of authorizing power or authority to grant new charters.”



Jennifer Saba, the NACSA’s director of state policy, said five other states besides Louisiana received the maximum number of available points in terms of authorizer quality.

“There are eight known best practices that we consider to be essential for the health and success of a high performing charter sector,” Saba said. “We scored each state against those known best practices. In looking at Louisiana law that pertain to quality, Louisiana did have statutes or rules in place that would have met all of our requirements to get the full points in those categories.”

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Information from: The Advertiser, https://www.theadvertiser.com

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