State by State
As of late 1998, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have adopted some version of the charter school concept. However, this is an area of rapid development. Charter legislation has passed in some state every year since 1991, and many states have modified their legislation. In general, legislative revisions are moving closer to the charter idea by increasing the number of charter schools that can be created and making it possible for potential charter school operators to obtain sponsorship from organizations including, but not limited to, a local school board.
Any report of state-level charter legislation can become out of date rapidly. After reviewing the information to follow, check with your state department of education and state resource centers, which are the best sources of information about your state.
This section benefited from the advice and information gathered by a number of people, including jerry Langley-Ripka (Center for School Change), Eric Hirsch (National Council of State Legislators), Jon Schroeder (Charter Friends Network), Ted Kolderie (Center for Policy Studies), and Stella Cheung (the Humphrey Institute). It represents the best information available in September 1998. However, as noted, things are changing rapidly, so this information should not be regarded as definitive.
In some cases, states were not sure exactly how many charters would open for the 1998–99 school year. This is because some schools had been approved but had not worked out final arrangements, such as obtaining a building or other facilities, at the time information was gathered.
Revised in 1998.