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Monday, April 15, 2013

Yakima School District Also Applying to be Charter School Authorizer

In a somewhat old-school turn of events, Yakima School District has been added to the list of 12 districts that have filed letter of intent to become charter school authorizers.  

Now the State Board of Ed didn't specify how the letter was to come to them so, according to their office, most of the districts send their letter via e-mail with a few following up with a hard copy via the mail.

Yakima, though, sent theirs thru first-class mail (with no signature required) and yup, it got lost in the mail because the SBE never received it.  So, when the announcement of who had applied came out after the April 1 deadline, Yakima was perplexed as to why they were not on the list. 

But all's well that ends well and they have been added to the list.

In my spot-check of districts that have filed letters of intent, several have stated they are buying time.  Time gives them the chance to consider what the pros/cons would be to being an authorizer. 

Could a district control its fate if it did become an authorizer?  Somewhat but if they went years and never authorized anything, charter applicants would get the message and go thru the Charter Commission (although, as I noted in a previous thread, it's all a big race and the Charter Commission would have the biggest number of runners). 

3 comments:

cheap jerseys said...
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Anonymous said...

If a specific School District applies to be an authorizer - would they then retain approval for any Charter installations in their boundary?

For example if a District did not actually want to have any Charters, could they apply to be an authorizer and turn down all applicants?

-StepJ

Melissa Westbrook said...

StepJ, half right.

An approved school district could turn down all charter applications if they want to.

However, that would not stop a charter from coming to their district as the Charter Commission could authorize one anyway.

The trick? The charter applicants can only pick ONE or the other to apply to (meaning, either the school district they want to be in or the Charter Commission).

If it was a grass-roots charter group run by a local non-profit that would provide something the district didn't have, then the district might ok that. I suspect that the big charter groups would come in via the Charter Commission.