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The National Charter School Resource Center at the South Carolina Charter School Conference. Abner Oakes March 2010. Agenda Welcome, introductions, agenda, your cell phone Overview of the National Charter School Resource Center Focus on facilities, one of our priority areas

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The National Charter School Resource Center

at the South Carolina Charter School Conference

Abner Oakes

March 2010


  • Agenda

  • Welcome, introductions, agenda, your cell phone

  • Overview of the National Charter School Resource Center

  • Focus on facilities, one of our priority areas

  • Questions and answers

  • Next steps, evaluation, finish


About NCSRC

The U.S. Department of Education is committed to promoting effective practices, providing technical assistance, and disseminating the resources critical to ensuring the success of charter schools across the country. To that end, the Education Department, under a contract with Learning Point Associates, has developed the National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC).


A national center for charter schools

is needed now because…


The public charter school movement continues to expand.

  • Since the 2007–08 school year, the charter school student population has grown 11 percent, and the number of charter schools has grown 8 percent.

  • Today, a record 14 school districts have more than 20 percent of their public school students enrolled in public charter schools.

  • More than 1.5 million students attend more than 4,900 public charter schools (2009–10).

  • Nationally, the average public charter school has been open 6.2 years.

  • Sources: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (2009a, 2009c)


  • The U.S. Department of Education is investing in public charter schools.

  • Estimated awards* by the federal Charter Schools Program in FY 2010:

    • $172,949,000 for new and continuation awards under 84.282A State Educational Agency and 84.282B&C Non-State Educational Agency programs

    • $23,082,000 for continuation awards under 84.282D State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grant and 84.354A Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities programs

    • $50,000,000 for new awards under 84.282M Charter Management Organizations and Other Not-For-Profit Entities

    • $10,000,000 for national activities, including approximately $3,500,000 for new awards under 84.282N, National Leadership Activities 

  • *These budget estimates are subject to change. Source: E. Pfeltz (personal communication, January 19, 2010)


  • Expanding the reach of high-quality public charter schools is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

    • “So, I'm a big supporter of these successful charter schools and so is the president. That's why one of our top priorities is a $52 million increase in charter school funding in the 2010 budget. We also want to change the law and allow federally funded charters to replicate.

    • —Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education (Remarks at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Conference, June 22, 2009)


And in South Carolina? is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • There are 39 public charter schools (2009–10).

  • Since the 2007–08 school year, the charter school student population has grown 19 percent, with a 34.5 percent growth in the number of charter schools.

  • In South Carolina, 2.9 percent of all public schools students are enrolled in public charter schools (2008–09).

  • The average public charter school in South Carolina has been open 5.3 years (2009–10).

  • Sources: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (2008, 2009b)


Our Mission is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

The National Charter School Resource Center (NCSRC) serves as a national center to provide on-demand resources, information, and technical assistance to support successful planning, authorizing, implementation, and sustainability of high-quality charter schools; to share evaluations on the effects of charter schools; and to disseminate information about successful practices in charter schools.


About Learning Point Associates is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Learning Point Associates is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping educators and policymakers improve student learning by equipping them with knowledge and strategies that meet their needs and produce results.

Website: www.learningpt.org


  • Whom do we serve? is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

    • Charter school leaders and their staff

    • National and local charter school intermediary and support organizations

    • State education agency (SEA) personnel who oversee charter school activity


First Polling Question: is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Where do you currently get answers to questions or technical assistance on charter school-related issues?

    • The state’s charter school organization (CSO)

    • The federal Charter Schools Program office

    • Your SEA

    • Charter school operators

    • National groups, such as the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

    • Other


  • Priority Areas is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Assistance to SEA personnel who oversee charter school activity

  • Quality authorizing of charter schools

  • Charter school facilities

  • Charter school leadership

  • Successful charter models for turning around low-performing schools under Title I School Improvement


Second Polling Question: is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Which of the following four priority areas is of most interest to you?

    • Enhancing charter school leadership (i.e., principals and teachers).

    • Ensuring rigor on charter school authorizing.

    • Increasing information about and access to funding for charter school facilities.

    • Helping charters and charter management organizations (CMOs) with turnaround work.


  • Facilities: Facts and Figures is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • A 2005 study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Progress Analytics Institute, and Public Impact found that funding disparities between charter schools and other public schools ranged from 4.8 percent to 39.5 percent and that charter schools’ access to local and capital funding was the primary driver of the funding gap.

  • Source: Batdorff et al. (2005)


  • Facts and Figures (continued): is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • A 2008 report prepared by WestEd for the U.S. Department of Education noted that charter schools receive about 78 cents for every dollar that traditional public schools receive. In addition, while traditional public schools may allocate all of their per-pupil funding for instructional programming, charter schools also must use these dollars to cover the costs of facilities.

  • Source: Office of Innovation and Improvement (2008)


State Policy Considerations: Payments is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools identifies the following as components of a strong charter school policy for equitable access to capital funding and facilities:

  • Per-pupil facilities allowances, which annually reflect actual average district capital costs

  • A state grant program for charter school facilities

  • A state loan program for charter school facilities

  • Source: Ziebarth (2010)


  • State Policy Considerations: Buildings is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Right of first refusal to purchase or lease at fair or below-market value a closed, unused, or underused public school facility or property

  • Prohibition of facility-related requirements stricter than those applied to traditional public schools

  • Source: Ziebarth (2010)


  • State Policy Considerations: Leverage is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Equal access to tax-exempt bonding authorities—or allow charter schools to have their own bonding authority

  • Equal access to existing state facilities programs available to noncharter public schools

  • A mechanism to provide credit enhancement for public charter school facilities

  • Source: Ziebarth (2010)


  • Upcoming NCSRC Activities on Facilities is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Development of a “Facilities 101” course of study—face-to-face and online

  • Half-day face-to-face delivery of course in Philadelphia, May 25—at no cost

  • Full-day face-to-face delivery of course in Chicago, June 28, to precede the National Charter Schools Conference—again at no cost


  • Some of NCSRC’s Services is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Presentations at state and national charter school conferences

  • National and state-level convenings and meetings

  • Monthly e-newsletter and other publications

  • Conference calls and webinars with SEA personnel

  • Website: final iteration available at end of March

  • Just-in-time technical assistance: Ask the Expert


Final Polling Question: is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Which of our work and activities interest you the most?

  • Ask the Expert service

  • Content expertise, such as with facilities

  • Our website’s resources

  • Technical assistance

  • None at the moment


Questions? Comments? Ideas? is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.


References is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Batdorff, M., Finn, C. E., Hassel, B., Maloney, L., Osberg, E., Speakman, S., et al. (2005). Charter school funding: Equity’s next frontier. Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.edexcellence.net/doc/Charter%20School%20Funding%202005%20FINAL.pdf

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2008). Schools overview 2008–09: South Carolina [Website]. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/overview/state/SC/year/2008

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2009a). Public charter school dashboard [Website]. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/dashboard/home

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2009b). Schools overview 2009–10: South Carolina [Website]. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/dashboard/schools/page/overview/state/SC/year/2010


National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. (2009c). is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education. Top 10 charter communities by market share. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/files/publications/MarketShare_P4.pdf

Office of Innovation and Improvement. (2008). Making charter schools more affordable: State-driven policy approaches. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www2.ed.gov/admins/comm/choice/charterfacilities/charterfacilities.pdf

Ziebarth, T. (2010). How state charter laws rank against the new model public charter school law. Washington, DC: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Retrieved March 22, 2010, from http://www.publiccharters.org/files/publications/DB-ModelLaw_Report_01-12-10.pdf


Contact Information is a strategy promoted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Abner Oakes

National Charter School Resource Center

1100 17th Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20036-4632

Phone: 877-277-2744

Fax: 202-223-8939

E-Mail: [email protected]


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