2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 0%
Charter Schools Score: 75%
Idaho’s grade drops from a “B” to a “C” this year. While Idaho law allows universities to authorize charter schools, in practice they do not. Meanwhile, state government and the quasi-independent Idaho Charter School Commission heavily regulate the charter sector. This has stalled the growth of Idaho’s charter sector.
- Law passed in 1998
- Number of charters: 52
- Estimated charter enrollment: 21,400 (up 1 percent from 2015- 16)
- Virtual charter schools are allowed
- Idaho does not cap the number of charter schools that districts and school boards can authorize, but it does limit the number of university authorized charter schools to one, per district, per year
- Charter schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- Idaho earns 9 of 15 points for “authorizing” because law allows multiple authorizers, including universities. In practice however, the Public Charter School Commission authorizes the vast majority of charter schools in the state: No university currently authorizes charter schools. This gap between policy and practice depresses Idaho’s grade. Decisions made by the Idaho Charter School Board and local school boards are subject to appeal, which means that charter applicants have recourse from arbitrary or capricious treatment; this is a positive.
- Idaho earns 10 out of 15 for “growth” because the law limits the number of schools that universities can authorize (which may be one reason universities have not entered the sector). Charters school growth in Idaho has slowed due to the heavily regulated environment. This, too, harmed the state’s score.
- Idaho earned 10 out of 20 points for “operations.” In theory, charters in Idaho receive waivers from most regulations, except for teacher certification and school accreditation. Charters are also their own LEAs. In practice, however, the public charter school board heavily regulates schools, making waivers the law grants irrelevant.
- Idaho earns 6 out of 15 for “funding equity.” Charter school funding comes from state sources and federal money that schools qualify to receive. Charters do not receive any local tax revenues or supplemental funds and are therefore inequitably funded, compared to districts. Charter schools do receive per-pupil facilities funding from the state, but that funding is less than that provided to district schools.
Teacher Quality Score: 75%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers F
Expanding the Pool of Teachers B
Identifying Effective Teachers C+
Retaining Effective Teachers C-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C-
Overall State Grade D+