Is State’s New Transparency Law For Charter Managers Strong Enough? – Hartford Courant

By Kathleen Megan

After last year’s debacle involving the Hartford-based Jumoke Academy charter school operation, many legislators arrived at the Capitol this year on a mission to improve the control and regulation of charter schools. A new law, passed with overwhelming support in the General Assembly but not yet signed by the governor, is designed to make charter schools and the charter management organizations that oversee them more accountable and transparent.

No one seems to dispute that the state’s new charter accountability provisions — including anti-nepotism rules, background checks, and other measures — are a positive step forward when it comes to making the publicly-funded but independently-run schools more accountable.

But opinions are divided on an amendment added to the bill during the last days of the session that provides access to the records and files of the private nonprofit charter management groups.
Some charter school advocates contend that the new transparency provisions are unfair — subjecting charter groups to regulations that don’t apply to other private nonprofits — and could make them the “target” of incessant document requests and smear campaigns. [Read More]