Resolutions: Charter Schools

In the debate over the resolution on Charter Schools, it became clear AFSA believes that, on a small scale, public charter schools have the potential to provide innovative educational strategies that can be replicated across traditional public schools, but it was also noted that recent research has found that charter schools’ effectiveness has proven to be mixed at best; and

Given these dynamics, the AFSA resolution made clear the union’s belief that the success of all public school students is of paramount importance, and therefore, charter schools must be held to the same standards as traditional public schools, including accountability requirements, regional accreditation standards, educator effectiveness and teacher and principal certification, regulations, and financial oversight.

The resolution therefore called for requiring the states to provide descriptions of how they will actively monitor and hold authorized public chartering agencies accountable, based on the performance of the charter schools they authorize, with particular focus on the areas of achievement for all students, student safety, and financial management.

The resolution also asserted that any charter school-related legislation should expressly prohibit charter schools from discriminating on the basis of race, sex, religion, socioeconomic status, language or mental, physical, emotional or behavioral disability, sexual orientation, gender,  or gender identity.

To further ensure the equality of opportunity for all students, the resolution stated that federal, state, and local policymakers should not divert funding from traditional public schools to fund charter schools, that charter school facilities should receive financing commensurate with that provided to traditional public schools, and that charter schools should receive equitable financing as compared to traditional public schools.

The resolution passed.