(Juneau) – In celebration of National School Choice Week, Wasilla Representative Lynn Gattis has filed a bill to allow multiple authorizers of public charter schools.
Authorizers can be government agencies, universities and/or nonprofit organizations. Authorizers will be approved by the Department of Education and Early Developmentand will have the same role and responsibilities as the current school districts to approve, monitor, renew, or terminate a public charter school.
“When we give parents and members of our communities more choices to meet the needs of all of our children, it becomes a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Gattis said. “Current law only allows local school districts to approve or reject charter school applications.”
Gattis said having school districts as sole authorizers limits the ability of parents and community members to establish more charter schools and has also created an added layer of financial burdens that diminish the level of services the schools can offer.
“Based on data from states with multiple or independent authorizers, the number of charter schools have increased and communities and parents have been empowered with more choices to meet students’ needs,” Gattis said.