ACSA remains supportive of charter schools and the opportunities they provide to implement school level reform and creative models of delivering instructional programs.
The primary goal of charter schools must be to improve student performance. ACSA recognizes that the foundation of charter schools is to be free of state regulation. ACSA even supports the notion that non-charter schools should be free of unnecessary regulations. However, there remains a need for a certain level of accountability to ensure first and foremost that students are learning and that public money is being spent appropriately. As a general guideline, ACSA maintains the following positions with regard to charter schools:
- Charter schools should remain free from state mandates such as collective bargaining, CCR's, PQR's, etc., except where there is an overriding statewide and community-wide concern such as accountability or discrimination.
- Charter schools should be held to the same performance expectations as traditional schools and, therefore, must be subject to the same academic accountability rules to ensure that students are learning.
- To ensure that public money is expended properly, minimum guidelines are necessary for charter school audits, including attendance accounting. Independent study and distance learning charters need additional guidelines for accountability purposes.
- An additional approval process is warranted for charter schools that operate beyond the jurisdiction of the granting agency.
- Charter schools should remain non-sectarian and inclusive. Charter school admission policies should not discriminate against students for gender, race, national origin, culture, ethnic, sexual orientation, academic, special needs, financial, or any other reason.
- Charter schools should be established for improved student learning and not for financial gain of any person, company, public or private school agency.
- The number of charter schools should be limited to and consistent with the provisions of AB 544 until their success in improved student learning has been validated by research. Additional research is also needed in order to demonstrate the types of charters that are most successful in terms of student learning.
Adopted by the ACSA Board of Directors 7/30/99
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