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Managing and Building Relationships with the Decision Makers copy

Across the United States, virtually all charter school authorizers are organized around a staff/board model: a professional staff prepares recommendations on such matters as new charter approvals, charter expansions, and charter renewals. Volunteer board members, who may be elected or appointed, then take these recommendations into account when making decisions.

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NACSA has been following the legislative developments in Connecticut intensely this year as policymakers and the charter community debate how to respond to the high-profile charter oversight concerns that surfaced last year. Much of this debate has centered on the oversight of charter management organizations (known as CMOs) and how the state can ensure they are properly monitored and overseen by authorizers and the public.

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Everybody seems to have an opinion these days about how to authorize charter schools.

Way at one end of the spectrum are the folks who worry about the messiness of autonomous schools and want to bury them in red tape. And at the other end are groups like American Enterprise Institute – who according to a new report basically want authorizers to get out of the way and let a thousand flowers bloom. Continue Reading »

Submit an idea for

NACSA’s 2015 Leadership Conference is in the works!  We are developing the schedule now for the October 19-22 program in Denver, Colorado and we want your session ideas! Our priority is to develop a program that gives you the resources, networks and information you need to excel at your job and to advance the authorizing profession.

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Sometimes a single factoid can just leap out at you.

That happened a couple of years ago when I read a report about charter facilities finance by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a community improvement not-for-profit that is also a significant player in the charter lending markets. LISC found that lenders had consulted authorizer reports before approving charter loans in just six of the 393 charter bond offerings it studied. How come?

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Every child deserves a


My mother has always expressed to me that she only wants “what’s best” for me, and this is where my charter school story begins. At 14, I had been attending the same public school for eight years, yet I was unfamiliar with most teachers and students. I often felt invisible, especially during the times where I needed help, and I never knew who to talk to. I didn’t feel comfortable expressing my needs. My mother knew there were better choices for me, places where I could thrive academically and socially.


We found that choice in Perspectives Charter School.

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Thirteen Years Later

This is the story of my senior year of high school, when I was applying to colleges in the early aughts. I was like a lot of students from my California hometown, applying for some public UCs and a few private schools in-state and back east (also known as “where it snows,” which was generally regarded with skepticism).

But, unlike most of those aspiring freshmen, I was one of twenty kids graduating from my town’s first charter school.

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