Charter Schools

. The League of Women Voters of Missouri opposes expansion of charter schools in the state.
The League opposes charter school expansion because:
• Charter schools are not held to the same standards as traditional public schools. They are
“freed” from having to comply with most state regulations that are designed to ensure a minimum level of
adequacy, including being accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education. For example, 100% of faculty in traditional public schools must meet state certification
standards, while only 80% of charter school faculty members must be appropriately certificated.
• Charter schools are not required to serve their “fair share” of students who present many
challenges such as students with significant disabilities, students who are homeless, and students recently
released from juvenile detention programs. This inequity results in higher concentrations of students that
require significantly more resources in traditional public schools.
• Charter schools are governed by boards that are privately appointed, not elected, and such
boards often employ private for-profit corporations to operate publicly funded charter schools. This
significantly weakens accountability and contributes to citizens becoming “disinvested” from their local
public schools.
• There is an unfounded belief that charter schools are superior to traditional public schools and
therefore provide parents with an advantageous choice. Studies of charter school academic achievement
do not demonstrate that they are better than traditional public schools. Parents expect superior outcomes
when placing their children in charter schools. Unfortunately, such is often not the case and all too often
charter school outcomes are actually inferior to those of traditional public schools.

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