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New Report Finds Colorado's Charter School Law Ranks Second Nationally

Monday, January 27, 2020  
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For Immediate Release
January 27, 2020

Shaelyn Macedonio

New Report Finds Colorado's Charter School Law Ranks Second Nationally

DENVER, CO—Today, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (National Alliance) released its annual state-by-state ranking of charter school laws, Measuring Up to the Model: A Ranking of State Public Charter School Laws, Eleventh Edition.Colorado ranked second for the third year in a row. The state rankings report helps policymakers and education advocates see which states have a strong charter school law, like Colorado, and which states have room for improvement.

Colorado enacted its charter school law in 1993, and Centennial State charter schools now serve nearly 130,000 public school students across 261 charter schools. Colorado’s law does not cap charter school growth, allows for a variety of charter schools, and has made great strides toward equitable access to capital funding and school facilities.

‘We’re proud to see Colorado again leading the nation when it comes to fostering an environment that allows for innovative and successful charter schools that meet the diverse needs of local communities and families,” said Colorado League of Charter Schools President Ben Lindquist. “Education experts have determined that seven of the 10 best schools in Colorado are charter schools, which proves that students and families win when the playing field for charter schools is level. It also underscores the critical importance of state legislators continuing to create an environment that treats charter schools as the important part of the public education landscape that they are.”

Colorado could further improve its charter school law by continuing to strengthen equitable access to capital funding and facilities and strengthening accountability for full-time virtual charter schools.

The National Alliance’s 2020 state rankings measure each state’s charter school law against a “gold standard” model charter school law,A Model Law for Supporting the Growth of High-Quality Charter Schools: Second Edition, released in October 2016. The Eleventh Edition of Measuring Up to the Model ranks charter school laws in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Each law receives a score based on 21 essential metrics, including accountability, flexibility, authorization, performance-based contracts, and funding equity.

“In celebration of National School Choice Week this week, today we reflect on how Colorado’s excellent charter school law sets an example for the rest of the nation,” said National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees. “Colorado charter schools continue to provide all parents, regardless of their socioeconomic status, with access to a high-quality public school. Colorado’s strong charter school law strengthens the entire public education system.”

For additional key findings in the report, please view the national press release from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

About Public Charter Schools
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit