Assessing Charter School Renewal Candidacy

We often get calls from charter schools entering their renewal year. Here are the four most important get-to-know-you questions that we ask schools during these calls.

1.  Does the school represent equal or greater populations of English language learners, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students as the local district?

Recently, failure to do so has adversely impacted renewal recommendations.

2.  Does the school’s state assessment performance rank it in the lower, middle, or upper third of the entire public school sector?

Ranking, and whether there is an upward trend or not, go a long way in shaping the charter school renewal theme.

3.  Is the organization stable?

Teacher, principal, and board turnover, student attrition, family satisfaction surveys, and enrollment demand are all important areas to discuss.

4.  How is the school’s fiscal condition?

Schools with no reserves can’t be considered sustainable for another charter term, yet schools with too much in savings may not be doing enough to provide for students. Find a happy spot in between.

After we have answered these four fundamental questions, we gain a sense of how a new customer’s renewal story will likely be told.