Charter Schools: Does the state set a threshold beneath which a charter school must automatically be closed?

Charter Schools: Does the state set a threshold beneath which a charter school must automatically be closed?

January 2018

This resource contains information about the 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, with charter school laws. It does not contain any information for the six states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Please contact Micah Ann Wixom or with questions or comments about the database.

Does the state set a threshold beneath which a charter school must automatically be closed?
Alabama Yes. State law requires that a charter school be closed if - at the end of its charter - the school has failed to meet academic performance expectations set forth in contract, or fails to attain the minimum state proficiency standard for public charter schools in each year of its operation and over the charter term. Any public charter school that has received a grade of F on the statewide accountability system or a grade of D or F for the past 3 most recent years will be considered to fall below the minimum standard.

Citations: Ala. Code § 16-6F-8
Alaska No
Arizona No
Arkansas No
California No. However, if a charter school fails to improve outcomes for 3 or more subgroups or for all of the pupil subgroups, the chartering authority is required to provide technical assistance and is required to consider revocation.

Citations: Cal. Educ. Code § 47607
Colorado No
Connecticut No
Delaware No
District of Columbia Yes. A chartering authority is required to revoke the charter if the eligible chartering authority determines that the school:
  • Has engaged in a pattern of nonadherence to generally accepted accounting principles.
  • Has engaged in a pattern of fiscal mismanagement. 
  • Is no longer economically viable.

The authorizer is prohibited from renewing a charter if it determines that:
  • The school committed a material violation of applicable laws or a material violation of the conditions, terms, standards or procedures set forth in its charter, including violations relating to the education of children with disabilities.
  • The school failed to meet the goals and student academic achievement expectations set forth in its charter.

Citations: D.C. Code § 38-1802.12; D.C. Code § 38-1802.13
Florida Yes. A charter may be terminated immediately if the authorizer illustrates, in writing, that there is an immediate and serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the students.

The authorizer is required to automatically terminate a charter if the charter school earns 2 consecutive grades of “F” after all school grade appeals unless:
  • The charter school is established to turn around the performance of a district public school. 
  • The charter school serves a student population the majority of which resides in a school zone served by a district public school and the charter school earns at least a grade of “D” in its third year of operation. The exception does not apply to a charter school in its fourth year of operation and thereafter.
  • The state board grants the charter school a waiver of termination. The charter school must request the waiver within 15 days after the department's official release of school grades. The state board may waive termination if the charter school demonstrates that the learning gains of its students on statewide assessments are comparable to or better than the learning gains of similarly situated students enrolled in nearby district public schools. The waiver is valid for one year and may only be granted once. Charter schools that have been in operation for more than five years are not eligible for a waiver.

Also, if a charter school earns 3 consecutive grades below a "C," the school governing board is required to choose from the following corrective actions:
  • Contract for educational services to be provided directly to students, instructional personnel, and school administrators, as prescribed in state board rule.
  • Contract with an outside entity that has a demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school.
  • Reorganize the school under a new director or principal who is authorized to hire new staff.
  • Voluntarily close the charter school.

The contractual term of any charter is required to provide for cancellation of the charter if insufficient progress has been made in attaining the student achievement objectives of the charter and if it is not likely that such objectives can be achieved before expiration of the charter.

The sponsor of a charter school that knowingly fails to comply with required background checks is required to terminate the charter.

Citations: Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1002.33
Georgia No
Hawaii A charter contract may be revoked at any time if the authorizer determines the school:
  • Committed substantial violations of law from which the school is not exempted or of the charter provisions.
  • Failed to meet or make sufficient progress toward performance expectations set forth in the charter.
  • Failed to meet general standards of fiscal management.

Citations: Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 302D-18
Idaho No
Illinois No
Indiana Yes. A charter school that remains in the lowest category or designation of school improvement, including any alternative accountability category or designation, for 3 years must be closed. However, the authorizer may petition the state board at any time to request permission to renew the charter school's charter notwithstanding the fact that the charter school does not meet the minimum standard. 

Citations: Ind. Code Ann. § 20-24-2.2-2
Iowa No
Kansas Yes. Renewal of the operational status of the charter school is allowed to be approved only if the charter school has demonstrated progress in achieving the program goals it established. 

Citations: Kan. Stat. Ann. § 72-1907
Kentucky No
Louisiana Yes. No charter is allowed to be renewed unless the charter renewal applicant can demonstrate, using standardized test scores, improvement in the academic performance of pupils over the term of the charter school's existence.

Citations: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17:3992
Maine No

Citations: Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. 20-A § 2411
Maryland No
Massachusetts No
Michigan Yes. If an authorizer receives notice from the state school reform/redesign officer, the authorizer is required to revoke the charter or to require the school to cease operating the existing grade levels at the end of the year. Such notice occurs if the charter school has been among the lowest achieving 5% for at least 4 years or if the state school reform/redesign officer determines that a public school academy site located in a community district has been assigned a grade of “F” for the immediately preceding 3 school years, and is not currently undergoing reconstitution.

Citations: Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 380.507
Minnesota No. However, an authorizer may terminate a charter school contract during the term of the contract for any of the following reasons: 
  • Failure to demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement for all students, including the requirements for pupil performance contained in the contract.
  • Failure to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management.
  • Violations of law.
  • Other good cause shown.

Citations: Minn. Stat. Ann, § 124E.10
Mississippi No
Missouri Yes. Authorizers must have a policy to revoke a school's charter during the charter term if there is clear evidence of underperformance, as demonstrated in the charter's annual performance report in 3 of the last 4 years, or a violation of the law or the public trust that imperils students or public funds.

Citations: Mo. Ann. Stat. § 160.405(8)(b)
Nevada Yes. If a charter receives 3 of the lowest annual performance ratings within 5 consecutive school years, the school's contract must be terminated or revoked. 

Citations: Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 388A.300
New Hampshire Yes. The state board may immediately revoke a school's charter in circumstances posing extraordinary risk of harm to students.

Citations: N.H. Rev. Stat. § 194-B:16
New Jersey No
New Mexico No
New York No
North Carolina No
Ohio Yes. Low-performing charter schools that meet certain criteria - such as receiving an 'F' grade under the state's accountability system and not meeting the state's annual measurable objectives - must be permanently closed at the conclusion of the school year. 

Citations: Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3314.35
Oklahoma Yes. Authorizers must not renew charter schools with performance levels in the bottom 5% of public schools or appear before the state board of education to justify its reason for renewing the charter school. The state board will uphold or overturn the decision. In deciding whether or not to keep the school open the state board must consider mitigating factors, such as enrollment of students with special challenges, or high student mobility related to the specific purpose of the charter school.

Citations: Okla. Stat. tit. 70, § 3-137
Oregon No. However, an authorizer may terminate a charter immediately if the school is endangering the health and safety of students. 

Citations: Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 338.105
Pennsylvania No
Rhode Island Yes. A charter may be revoked at any time if the school:
  • Materially violates provisions contained in the charter.
  • Fails to meet or pursue the educational objectives contained in the charter.
  • Fails to comply with fiscal accountability procedures as specified in the charter.
  • Violates provisions of law that have not been granted variance by the state board of education.
  • After 3 consecutive years of operation, is not a “high-performing charter school,” defined as a charter public school that has demonstrated overall success, including: substantial progress in improving student achievement and the management and leadership necessary to establish a thriving, financially viable charter public school.

Citations: R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 16-77-5.1
South Carolina Yes. A charter school will be automatically and permanently closed at the conclusion of the school year if the school receives the lowest performance level rating as defined by the federal accountability system for three consecutive years beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. However, automatic closure shall not apply to any charter school serving 50% or more students with disabilities or any charter school designated as an alternative education campus. 

Citations: S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-110; S.C. Code Ann. § 59-40-111
Tennessee Yes. Charter schools identified as priority schools must be closed at the end of the school year, and no appeal is allowed. In the case of fraud, misappropriation of funds, flagrant disregard of the charter agreement or similar misconduct, a charter school may be closed before the end of a school year.

Citations: Tenn. Code Ann. § 49-13-122
Texas For open-enrollment, campus, and home-rule district charter schools, decisions about closure must be based on the best interest of the students, the severity of the violations, any previous violations, and the school's accreditation status.

For open-enrollment charter schools, the state commissioner of education must revoke an open enrollment charter school's charter if the commissioner finds the following:
  • Committed a material violation of the charter, including accountability provisions.
  • Failed to satisfy generally accepted accounting standards.
  • Failed to protect the health, safety, or welfare of the students.
  • Failed to comply with applicable state laws.
  • Failed to satisfy the reporting and performance standards policies established by the commissioner.
  • Is insolvent.

Citations: Tex. Educ. Code Ann. § 12.115
Utah Yes. An authorizer may terminate a charter immediately for good cause or if the health, safety, or welfare of the students or school are threatened. 

Citations: Utah Code Ann. § 53A-1a-510
Virginia No
Washington Yes. Unless the charter school demonstrates exceptional circumstances that the authorizer finds justifiable, an authorizer may revoke a charter at any time if the authorizer determines the school failed to comply with provisions of the charter school law or did any of the following: 
  • Committed a material and substantial violation of any of the terms, conditions, standards or procedures required under law or the charter contract.
  • Failed to meet or make sufficient progress toward the performance expectations set forth in the charter contract.
  • Failed to meet generally accepted standards of fiscal management.
  • Substantially violated any material provision of law from which the charter school is not exempt.

Citations: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 28A.710.200
Wisconsin No

Citations: Wis. Stat. Ann. § 118.40
Wyoming No

Citations: Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 21-3-309

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