Charter Schools: Are there sanctions in place for authorizers?

Charter Schools: Are there sanctions in place for authorizers?

January 2020

This resource contains information about the 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, with charter school laws. It does not contain any information for the five states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Are there sanctions in place for authorizers?
Alabama Yes. Chartering authority may be revoked under certain circumstances. The department of education oversees the performance of all authorizers, including the Alabama Public Charter School Commission. When authorizers are local school boards, the department will notify and provide 60 days to remedy the problem before revoking the local school board's authority as an authorizer. If the commission violates a material provision of a charter contract or fails to remedy any other authorizing problems after due notice from the department, the department will notify the governor, speaker of the house, and president pro tempore of the senate of the deficiencies. If their appointees are in noncompliance, appointees face possible revocation of appointment to the commission.

Citations: Ala. Code § 16-6F-6
Alaska No
Arizona Yes. If the auditor general finds significant noncompliance or if an authorizer fails to submit the annual report required, on or before December 31 of each year the auditor general shall report to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the chairs of the senate and house education committees or their successor committees, and the legislature shall consider revoking the sponsor's authority to sponsor charter schools.

Citations: Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15-183
Arkansas No
California No
Colorado Yes. The state board may revoke a school district's exclusive chartering authority. Also, a charter school, a charter school applicant, or an organization that represents charter schools may request revocation of a local board of education's exclusive authority on the grounds that the local board has demonstrated a pattern of failing to comply with provisions of the state's Charter Schools Act.

Citations: Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 22-30.5-504
Connecticut No
Delaware No
District of Columbia No
Florida No
Georgia Yes, for local boards. The state board is required to provide for the annual review of local boards by an independent party for adherence to the principles and standards of charter school authorizing practices adopted by the state board. A charter school authorized by a local board that fails to meet the principles and standards of charter school authorizing on its annual evaluation for two consecutive years may petition to transfer its charter authorization to the state charter schools commission.

The state charter schools commission must have an annual review by an independent body to ensure it is adhering to the principles and standards of charter school authorizing practices.

Citations: Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2063.3
Hawaii Yes.
  • Persistently unsatisfactory performance of an authorizer's portfolio of public charter schools, a pattern of well-founded complaints about the authorizer or its public charter schools, or other objective circumstances may trigger a special review by the board.
  • If an authorizer persists in violating a material provision of a charter contract or its authorizing contract with the board, or fails to remedy other identified authorizing problems, the board may revoke the authorizer's chartering authority unless the authorizer demonstrates a timely and satisfactory remedy for the violation or deficiencies.
  • Authorizers may lose charter authorizing powers following evidence of material or persistent failure to carry out their duties consistent with nationally recognized authorizer principles and standards.

Citations: Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302D-6; Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302D-11
Idaho No
Illinois Yes. The state board has the power to remove the power to authorize from any authorizer if the authorizer does not demonstrate a commitment to high-quality authorization practices and, if necessary, revoke the chronically low-performing charters authorized by the authorizer at the time of the removal.

Citations: 105 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/27A-12
Indiana Yes. The state board may suspend or, if deficiencies remain uncorrected, revoke the authorizer's authority to function as an authorizer.

Citations: Ind. Code Ann. § 20-24-2.2-6
Iowa No
Kansas No
Kentucky No
Louisiana No
Maine Yes. The department may investigate and, as appropriate, institute sanctions in response to deficiencies in authorizer performance or legal compliance. In addition to any other sanction instituted, the commissioner may suspend a deficient authorizer's authority to issue new charters or renew existing charters until the commissioner is satisfied that the deficiencies have been corrected.

Citations: Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2403
Maryland No
Massachusetts No
Michigan Yes. If the state superintendent finds that an authorizing body is not engaging in appropriate continuing oversight of 1 or more public school academies operating under a contract issued by the authorizing body, the superintendent of public instruction may suspend the power of the authorizing body to issue new contracts to organize and operate public school academies.

Citations: Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.502
Minnesota Yes. The commissioner of education must review an authorizer's performance every five years. Authorizers are subject to corrective action if the commissioner finds the authorizer has not met requirements.

Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann. § 124E.05
Mississippi No. However, individual members of the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board may be removed if necessary.

Citations: Miss. Code Ann. § 37-28-7
Missouri Yes. The state board of education is responsible for ensuring authorizers are in compliance with charter school laws and evaluates authorizers every three years for compliance, and authorizers must provide necessary data to the department of education. If the department determines the authorizer is not in noncompliance with its duties, the authorizer must be given reasonable time for remediation. If remediation does not address the compliance issues, the commissioner of education is to conduct a public hearing and then provide the authorizer with notice of the corrective action that will be recommended to the state board of education. Corrective action may include withholding funding and suspending the authorizer's authority to sponsor a school until the sponsor is reauthorized by the state board of education. If the state board removes the authorizer's sponsoring authority, the Missouri charter public school commission will become the authorizer.

Citations: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.400, Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.403
Nevada Yes. The department of education can revoke a school board or higher education institution's authorizing authority if the department finds evidence of an authorizer's material or persistent failure to carry out their powers and duties.

Citations: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 388A.223
New Hampshire No
New Jersey No
New Mexico No
New York No. However, a charter school may apply to another charter entity for oversight and supervision instead of the school's current charter entity.

Citations: N.Y. Educ. Law § 2851
North Carolina No
Ohio Yes. The department of education has an annual evaluation system that gives each authorizer an overall rating based on several components, including annual performance of students, compliance with quality authorizing practices outlined in statute, and compliance with applicable policies.

Agreements between the sponsor and the department must include parameters for and circumstances when the department will intervene and potentially suspend or revoke a sponsor's chartering authority. The department may intervene and potentially suspend or revoke a sponsor's authority if the sponsor is unwilling or unable to fulfill its duties. The agreement must also include a provision allowing the department to modify the agreement in instances of poor fiscal management and lack of academic progress. In lieu of revoking sponsoring authority, the department may also place a sponsor on probationary status for noncompliance.

If the state board of education finds a sponsor is not in compliance or is no longer willing to comply with its contract, they must hold a hearing and may revoke the sponsorship. This decision may be appealed.

Sponsors without an overall rating of "exemplary" for at least two consecutive years and do not maintain that rating are subject to the state's 100-school sponsorship limit.

Citations: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.015, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.016
Oklahoma Yes. If the state board of education has closed or transferred authorization of at least 25%of one authorizer's charter schools, the board may suspend that authorizer's authority to open new schools. In addition, if an authorizer fails to close a low-performing charter school under certain conditions, the authorizer must appear before the state board of education to support their decision. The state board may decide to uphold or overturn the authorizer's decision.

Citations: Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 3-137
Oregon No
Pennsylvania No
Rhode Island No
South Carolina No
Tennessee Yes. The state board of education is tasked with evaluating authorizer quality. If the state board determines that an authorizer is not in compliance with state law, rules, regulations, and authorizing standards, then the board must notify the authorizer of the findings in writing. If the authorizer does not remedy the finding of noncompliance, it may result in a reduction of the authorizer fee received from its charter schools.

Citations: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-145
Texas No
Utah No
Virginia No
Washington Yes, for authorizers under the state board of education's jurisdiction. If authorizers fail to remedy identified problems, the state board may revoke the authorizer's chartering authority and transfer its charter schools to another authorizer.

Citations: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.120
West Virginia No.
Wisconsin No
Wyoming No

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