Charter Schools

The following is unbiased information about charter schools - the pros and the cons - as found in an LWVAL study. Here's what we learned…

Charter Schools: Facts and Issues

A publication of the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund
April 2011

UPDATE: The League of Women Voters of Alabama concluded this study and reached consensus March 31, 2012.

The League of Women Voters of Alabama (LWVAL) Education Fund, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and works to increase the understanding of major public policy issues. The LWVAL Education Fund supports LWVAL citizen education and voter services in Alabama.

Download Charter Schools Consensus Questions
These questions were posed to the members of the LWVAL in order to come to a consensus agreement on the League's position on Charter Schools.
Download Charter Schools Study Instructions
(for League discussion leaders and League boards)
The issues surrounding the subject of charter schools make them a topic capable of evoking strong opinions and responses. Proponents of charter schools believe they offer flexibility in improving schools with consistently low academic performance, provide options for addressing the needs of underserved student populations, encourage classroom innovations by reducing bureaucracy and hiring educators without ties to education lobbying groups and unions, and foster market-oriented reform in public education through competitive school choice options for students and parents.

"When you have the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich who vociferously disagree on everything else, but are working together to draw attention to the promise of charter schools, that is quite significant." -- Michael Ciamarra, vice president of the Alabama Policy Institute.(1)

Critics have equally strong opinions that charter schools undermine public schools systems, syphon limited funding away from existing schools, are a backdoor for privatizing public schools systems, are no more effective for fostering innovation than traditional schools, and are harmful to the teaching profession by encouraging the use of non-certified instructors and creating lower pay scales.

"I don‘t believe that you improve already under-funded public schools by taking money from them and using their money to build a new system of schools called charter schools." -- Paul Hubbert, executive secretary of the Alabama Education Association. (2)

Read this Charter Schools F&I online.

Download this Charter Schools F&I (pdf)

© 2011 League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund. All rights reserved.