Dec 08, 2023

Closing out 2023 and Welcoming 2024

With 2023 nearly complete and the holiday season upon us, we have so much to be thankful for across our public charter school space

Closing out 2023 and Welcoming 2024

Dear School Leaders and Charter Supporters,

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With 2023 nearly complete and the holiday season upon us, we have so much to be thankful for across our public charter school space, and simultaneously, so much to gear up for in the new year ahead. This is the perfect moment to pause and review where we are in our shared efforts to positively and meaningfully transform public education and to preview what’s in front of us.

NAEP and Student Outcomes
Great news! A report in November came out via Harvard that reviewed NAEP scores for charters across the country. In the report, Colorado ranked second nationally on charter school performance with a 23.7% standard deviation above the national average (significant!). This data is a testament to the incredibly hard work that all of our schools put forth each day to do right by the children we serve. It’s also a reminder of how powerful it is to have a strong policy landscape and bipartisan support that buoys our collective efforts to always put students first. I strongly encourage you to take time to read the full report.

Fall Survey
We spent part of the fall reflecting on the issues that confront us all and the conditions that we’re under as school-based academic, operational, and business leaders across the state. The League surveyed members with a primary focus on learning from the front lines and ultimately, informing our legislative agenda. The survey found top advocacy priorities were increased funding and equitable sharing of resources. While the vast majority of charter schools felt their authorizer granted them appropriate levels of autonomy, nearly half also felt that their authorizer did not treat them as an equal member of their geographic school district. A larger recap can be found in the newsletter. We had random winners for those who took the survey, and our Grand Prize winner was Katie DeMaria. Click here to see the other winners. Read more on the Fall Survey.

Legislative Agenda
The above survey was built to ensure the League had the best possible information to support its annual Legislative Agenda. The primary parts of this year’s agenda include Funding Equity, Facilities Access and Affordability, Authorizing Consistency, Autonomy, and Flexibility. See the draft agenda here and offer your thoughts prior to the League board’s review and approval on Tuesday, December 12th. The League is committed to advancing the charter school movement and strengthening the public education landscape for all children. Together, with our partners, supporters, and lawmakers, we aim to build a brighter future for students and families through high-quality, innovative public school options. Our legislative agenda and subsequent statewide advocacy are essential for doing just that.

Membership 90%
We’ve said many times that our strength lies in our ability to work collaboratively and collectively. In the current political climate, staying together and connected in our shared endeavors is even more important. The League is proud to again represent to policymakers and educational leaders that League membership is right at 90%. This critical statistic means the League’s voice is truly representative of schools from across the state and across a diverse spectrum of school models, communities, and families. We are incredibly grateful for our robust membership because it sets the stage beautifully for us to continue the critical work of advocacy in our space. It also means that the League can leverage that investment into more than double the spending on advocacy work through the 501(c)(3) and the 501(c)(4) to over $2 million each year.

Elections Past and Future
With the latest school board elections now passed, attention turns to next year’s election cycle. We are so grateful for all your energy, time, and support turning out your families and staff to vote in the election and we’re hoping to build on this momentum as we go into next year. The voices of our public charter school families and larger communities matter. One critical component you can do now is to help the League build on its ACT Network of supporters by encouraging your families to sign up here or to offer some of the League’s advocacy trainings. The more families and staff members who are informed and engaged, the stronger we are as a movement!

Regional Gatherings, Advocacy Day, Annual Conference.
While many League offerings take place online, we’re finding this post-COVID time to have really reemphasized the power and importance of in-person experiences. School leaders are invited to join League staff for Regional Gatherings. Northern Colorado’s gathering kicked off these small, informal events, and next up is Southern Colorado. Find your gathering and RSVP today.

Look for the League’s Advocacy Day coming next year on February 1 (learn more or get on the waitlist here). This one-day educational advocacy event focuses on students connecting with legislators at the Capitol to promote quality and choice to build bipartisan support. Reach out to [email protected] for ways that you can engage legislators at your school.

We’re also putting together the final touches on the 2024 Annual Conference set to open on February 26 with a VIP Happy Hour, Hall of Fame awards (nominations are now open here), and the full event on February 27 and 28 at the Marriott Denver Tech Center. We’ll see you there! (Since you’ve read this far in my newsletter, I’ll offer you a 10% discount if you sign up this next week with code DavidsAC24)

With a focus on school quality remaining at the forefront of our work, we have launched our Member Quality Standards and Supports. This effort is spearheaded by the Member Council and approved by the board. It places a greater focus on quality and positive student outcomes by adding specific standards by which members can measure themselves and seek to increase quality. The MQSS establishes clarity around quality standards that need to be met over time to remain a member of the League while also ensuring robust supports exist to uplift schools that may have greater challenges (through School Quality Reviews and further interventions into specific areas of need). Please expect direct communication on this effort from the League if your school is impacted by the launch of our MQSS efforts.


On behalf of the League’s staff and board, thank you for everything you do to put children first. Have a wonderful winter break and we’ll see you all again in 2024.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,

David Singer, League Board Chair
Founder/Executive Director - University Preparatory Schools

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