April 1 was the deadline for school districts to submit a notice of intent to the State Board of Education (SBE) to apply to become a charter school authorizer. SBE is tasked with approving the local school boards that can authorize charters and will oversee the performance and effectiveness of all charter schools in the state.
The thirteen districts that applied for authorizer status come from across the state, in both rural and urban communities, with a wide range of student demographics and needs. As the following chart shows, the districts intending to apply are diverse:
School districts accepted as authorizers will be able to select the charter schools they think are best for their district, adding their own criteria for selecting charter management organizations. They will also be responsible for reviewing and holding accountable the charter schools they accept into their district.
Districts who have submitted letters of intent have until July 1 to complete their authorizer applications submit them to SBE. The application includes questions about the district’s vision for what charter schools will accomplish there. It also asks districts to detail their capacity for managing and overseeing charter schools and what criteria they will use to accept, oversee, and, if necessary, revoke charter school authorization.
For more on what steps are next for school districts looking to become charter authorizers, check out the Washington State Charter School Timeline.