10 Years of Charter Schools In Utah

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools offers this bit of news, which might be of use in Kansas:

Utah Celebrates 10 Years of Charter Schools
Ten years ago, the charter school movement in Utah was launched by former legislator Brian Allen. “I wake up every day knowing there are 27,000 kids in this state going to a school that they wanted to go to, that they are thriving at and doing well and that’s an important thing,” said Allen, who has been called the “father” of the state’s charter school movement. Now about five percent of the public school population attends charter schools. Representatives from the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools visited Utah last week to help commemorate the anniversary and congratulated lawmakers and charter leaders. Nelson Smith, president of the Alliance, said Utah stands out in front of the charter movement in a number of areas due to its acceptance of charters. While in many other states, schools can only be chartered by a school district, Utah has a State Charter Board that is also charged with granting charters. Utah has also created a charter school revolving loan fund that helps charters secure a facility, along with the newly created state charter school finance authority charged with providing a cost-effective method of financing charter school facilities. Also, Utah is one of only a few states that recognize the need for parity in funding between charter and district schools, with the state providing support to ensure charter school student funding is closer to that of district schools. “There are issues to be worked out between the state and the districts, but it is done in the spirit of trying to provide full funding to charter schools, and that is really important,” said Smith.
Source: Deseret Morning News, (02/14/2008)

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