Starting a Charter School in Wyoming
Lest anyone think I’m trying to pick on Oregon when I write about its nonsensical charter school application process, let me point out that Oregon is not the only state whose charter school regulations should be updated. An article linked to by Edspresso explains the drawbacks of Wyoming’s policy.
The current system in Wyoming is a headache for any district superintendent, who must first help charter sponsors create an application, then turn around and make a recommendation about the charter to the school board. These are the superintendent and board of the same district that’s going to be competing with whatever new charters are approved.
The Wyoming Department of Education is considering changes to the process. The new rules would direct sponsors to work more closely with the Department when writing proposals; superintendents would continue to report on the application to the school boards.
These changes could be a step toward simplifying things, but I hope Wyoming will institute broader reforms in the future. Traditional districts and charters compete for a limited number of students. The state shouldn’t ask them to work together or depend on each other for approval, because their interests are at odds with one another.