|Key findings from the report include:
- Georgia made the biggest jump in this year’s rankings, moving up 11 spots from No. 27 to No. 16. The leap is credited to legislation enacted to improve the state’s policies for special education, funding, and full-time virtual charter schools.
- The Top 10 includes a mix of states with more mature movements (Indiana at No. 1, Colorado at No. 2, Minnesota at No. 4, Florida at No. 7, D.C. at No. 9, and Nevada at No. 10) and states with newer movements (Washington at No. 3, Alabama at No. 5, Mississippi at No. 6, and Maine at No. 8). Many states with existing charter school laws continue to strengthen them using lessons learned from what’s working—and what isn’t. New states rely heavily on those best practices when crafting their laws.
- States with new or overhauled laws are bypassing states that were previously ranked higher, such as Arizona, Louisiana, and New York. The laws have not weakened in the states being bypassed; they remain strong. Instead, these shifts indicate that throughout the country, charter school laws are getting better across the board.
- New York experienced the largest drop in this year’s rankings, falling three places from No. 14 to No. 17. While New York didn’t enact any new negative legislation, its existing caps on charter schools now leave precious little room for growth in New York City, where charter schools are serving tens of thousands of students with high-quality public-school choices.
- Maryland again has the nation’s weakest charter school law, ranking No. 44 (out of 44). While Maryland’s law does not cap public charter school growth, it allows only district authorizers and provides little autonomy, insufficient accountability, and inequitable funding to charter schools. Rounding out the bottom five states are Iowa (No. 40), Wyoming (No. 41), Alaska (No. 42), and Kansas (No. 43).