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2016 NAACP resolution on charter schools

Colorado-specific context
While charter schools do have their own governing boards,
theyre still ultimately accountable to the same public boards as
all other schools via the contracts they hold with those bodies and
the regular performance reviews they must undergo.
Colorado charter schools currently enroll students of color and
English Language Learners (ELLs) at higher rates than the states
traditional public schools.
Colorado charter schools are bound by the same state and federal
laws barring discrimination in enrollment practices as traditional
public schools. Charters are open to all and may not request
entrance exams (CRS 22-30.5-104(3)). A 2013 analysis of
disciplinary incidents in Colorado schools found that, in most
categories, charter schools had lower rates than non-charter
schools.
Colorado charter schools must complete an independent financial
audit each year that is subject to review by their district (CRS 2230.5-104(4)(a)). All Colorado charters are subject to the Public
School Financial Transparency Act, which requires them to
regularly post detailed financial information online for free public
access.
Charter public school students in Colorado including those who
are considered at-risk consistently outperform their peers in
traditional public schools on state performance measures.
There is no such thing as forced co-location in Colorado. While
Colorado school districts must provide information about any
underutilized or vacant buildings in their possession and entertain
proposals from charter schools who may wish to use those
facilities, it is still entirely up to the district whether they choose
to accept those proposals.
Colorado charters must undergo annual performance reviews by
their districts examining the schools academic progress as well as
its most recent financial audit (CRS 22-30.5-110). If charters
continually underperform, the timeline for districts to begin
closely examining and considering action against them is just two
years (CRS 22-30.5-110(3.5); this same timeline can be as much as
five years in the case of poor-performing traditional public schools
in Colorado.
All Colorado charter schools must be set up and run as nonprofit
entities (CRS 22-30.5-104(4)(a)).
Charter schools are public schools. There is no such thing as a
private charter school. Students who attend charter schools are
public school students, and as such, tax dollars expended on their
behalf do not represent any sort of diversion of public funds.
We agree and encourage the NAACP to join us in ensuring that
charter public school students, whose educations in Colorado are
currently only funded at 80 cents on the dollar relative to their
traditional public school peers, receive full and equitable funding.
Charter schools are public schools, they are subject to very robust
accountability and transparency provisions in Colorado, and far
from doing anything exploitative, they are providing numerous
Colorado children with an educational opportunity they badly
need and richly deserve.

Questions? Contact Dan Schaller at dschaller@coloradoleague.org or 303-989-5356 ext. 105.


Learn more about charter public schools at www.CharterPublic.org.