For the second year in a row, Mississippi has the nation's weakest charter school law according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' annual ranking of state charter school laws. Maine's law ranks first.
In its third year, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws analyzes the country's 42 state charter school laws. Each state is scored on how well it supports charter school quality and growth, based on the 20 essential components from the NAPCS' model charter school law, which include comprehensive monitoring and data collection, equitable access to funding and facilities, and no caps.
"Significant improvements are needed in every aspect of Mississippi's law, most notably by allowing start-up charter schools and virtual charter schools, providing additional authorizing options for charter applicants, beefing up the law in relation to the model law's four quality control components, increasing operational autonomy, and ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities," said Todd Ziebarth, vice president, state advocacy and support, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Ziebarth is the lead author of the report.