Position Statement - Public Charter Schools

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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National PTA supports public school choice and acknowledges public charter schools as one of many avenues to improving student achievement. National PTA supports public charter schools provided the authorizing bodies and schools reflect the positions and principles of National PTA in charters granted and implemented. National PTA values all PTA units within or affiliated with public charter schools.

National PTA supports legislation or policy decisions relating to charter schools that meet the following conditions:

Charter Authorizing Bodies must:

  • Meet the highest level of accountability;
  • Ensure transparent charter application, review, and decision-making processes;
  • Meaningfully engage parents (any adult who has primary responsibility for the education and welfare of a child) in transparent authorizing, review, and decision-making processes, including the involvement of at least one parent on each charter school board;
  • Engage in ongoing, comprehensive charter school data collection and evaluation processes, and make that information available to the public in a manner that complies with applicable state and federal laws; and
  • Require performance-based charter contracts.

Public Charter Schools must:

  • Be open to all students and free of both tuition charges and fees that exceed state or federal laws;
  • Be supported by specifically allocated public funds in amounts that do not exceed and do not divert funding from non-charter public schools;
  • Be legally organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization not affiliated with non-public sectarian, religious, or home-based school organizations;
  • Adhere to all federal and state laws that protect the health and safety of children, prohibit discrimination, ensure access for all children, and comply with the Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Act;
  • Comply with federal and state laws governing public schools that require fiscal transparency, responsibility and accountability;
  • Provide all education stakeholders, including parents, with absolute transparency concerning both non-public funding sources and any external organization(s) with which the charter school enters into fee-for-service contract(s);
  • Ensure that professional staff is certified for the position(s) they hold;
  • Work collaboratively with parents to ensure meaningful family engagement in student learning and school success, including the presence of at least one parent on the charter school board; and
  • Adhere to mechanism(s) for periodic, independent data collection and evaluation to determine alignment with provisions of the stated charter and ability to meet or exceed expectations required of non-charter public schools.