2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 65%
Oregon has a weak charter school bill because they have limited authorizers.
Oregon only allows for local school boards to serve as authorizers for charter schools which has led to substantial regulations for those schools and prevented them from growing. In particular districts being the only authorizer has led to a large funding inequity that exists for charter school students as local school districts are empowered to take up to 20percent of per pupil funding as an authorizer fee\
Oregon’s grade dropped from a C to a D in the Center for Education Reform’s newest charter school law rankings. This drop was due to the state having only one authorizer type (districts) and funding being very inequitable between charter schools and traditional schools (including no facilities funding). A very high cap on the number of charter schools prevents Oregon’s score from being an F
- Fast Facts:
- Law Passed in 1999
- Number of Charter Schools: 126
- Estimated Charter School Enrollment: 32,900 (increased 4percent from 2015-16)
- Oregon does not cap the number charter schools.
- Virtual Charter Schools are allowed
- Charter Schools can contract with EMOs with significant regulations.
- Oregon scored a three out of fifteen for authorizers. Oregon’s law only allows local school boards to authorize charter schools (although if a school board denies an application a charter can appeal to the state board or a university who becomes the authorizer if they accept the application). If a district denies an application, the applicant has the ability to appeal to the State Board of Education. Districts make bad authorizers because in authorizing charter schools, they are authorizing their competition. This means that they are very likely not to authorize schools that would represent real competition or regulate charter schools to the point where they cease to become truly innovative options for students.
- Oregon scored a nine on growth. Although they do not cap the amount of brick and mortar charter schools, virtual charter schools that are authorized by the state are not allowed to enroll over 3percent of the students in the district. Additionally, Oregon has many policies that make it difficult for successful charter schools to scale up- for example, requirements for new applications when expanding to multiple sites and for having different boards of directors for multiple campuses.
- Oregon scored a twelve out of twenty for operations. Oregon’s charter schools have a blanket waiver from most state rules that apply to traditional public schools. However, since school districts are the only authorizers of charter schools in Oregon, charter schools are not their own LEAs, This means that they do not have the financial autonomy to do as they please (since they are dependent on the school district for their financial survival).
Oregon earned a score of four out of fifteen for their funding equity score. Per-pupil funding in Oregon is 80 percent of the weighted average daily maintenance formula for students in K-8 and 95 percent of the formula for students in grades 9-12. This formula assumes that a charter serves the same percentage of low-income students as the district, which can result in inequity. Authorizers can retain up to 20 percent of funding for “administrative” fees, which results in a huge funding disparity between charter schools and traditional public schools. Charter schools receive no per-pupil facilities funding.
Online Learning Score: 75%
Three new virtual schools were approved to open. Oregon should allow more student access by eliminating district restrictions on enrollment without permission and allow students to enroll beyond full time.
Teacher Quality Score: 65%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers D+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers F
Identifying Effective Teachers D-
Retaining Effective Teachers C
Exiting Ineffective Teachers F