School Districts Choosing to Charter

November 2004

School district associations across the country have often opposed charter school legislation as strongly, or more strongly, than have teachers unions. They typically argue charter schools will threaten the tradition of local control of schools by elected officials, drain their financial resources, and distract them from pursuing “system-wide” reforms.

Yet many school districts across the country have embraced charter schools as an integral part of their overall strategy for school improvement. This brief, published by NACSA, explores the reasons urban, suburban, and rural districts alike have taken an approach so different from their associations’ typical political position by pursuing chartering as a school improvement strategy, and it offers suggestions for districts interested in pursuing the charter option.