Ch. 6 - Smart Charter School Caps: A Third Way on Charter School Growth (HFR '07)

December 2007

Legislative caps are an issue essential to the continued expansion of charter schools nationally. In many states, the debate has focused on whether there should be a cap on the number of charter schools allowed statewide, in a given locality, or in a particular year. While some constraints on the growth of charter schools make sense from a policy standpoint, author Andrew J. Rotherham questions the common rationale for charter school caps and argues that hard-and-fast caps do not represent sound policy. He recommends that a more defensible approach would be to establish "Smart Caps" to encourage the growth of proven charter models.