July, 2009The National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) announced today that it has received $9.4 million in investments from three of the nation's preeminent foundations -- the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation -- that recognize the need for consistent standards and accountability in charter school authorizing practices.
"We are pleased that these foundations are investing in NACSA to grow the number of high quality charter schools across the country," said Greg Richmond, President and CEO of NACSA. "The charter school movement is experiencing a powerful confluence of supporters and opportunities as President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan work to increase the number of quality charter schools across the country. NACSA is well-positioned to sustain this work and implement sound strategies to ensure that all students have access to excellent educational opportunities."
With the funding, NACSA will launch a national initiative to strengthen the practices of authorizers in targeted cities and states by adopting professional standards and by working with external stakeholders to create a high quality charter sector.
"For nearly 10 years, NACSA has been at the forefront of the quality charter movement, working in cities and states to strengthen the charter sector," said Jim Goenner, Chairman of NACSA's Board of Directors. "This investment will allow NACSA to further its work, expand its capacity, and support effective authorizing by advancing quality standards and practices that will serve as models for the nation."
This is the first time that the Gates Foundation and the Dell Foundation have partnered with NACSA to support quality authorizing practices. The Walton Family Foundation previously invested in NACSA to expand the knowledge base and increase the impact of quality authorizing practices.
"We are sharpening our focus around a set of clear strategies," said Richmond. "NACSA develops high quality authorizing environments that result in a greater number of quality charter schools. These influential foundations are investing in that work."
NACSA (www.qualitycharters.org) is the trusted resource and innovative leader working with educators and public officials to increase the number of high quality charter schools in cities and states across the nation. NACSA provides training, consulting, and policy guidance to authorizers and education leaders interested in increasing the number of high quality schools and improving student outcomes.