Since its inception, committed policymakers – including Ember Reichgott Junge, the former Minnesota State Senator who authored the first charter school law in Minnesota and the nation 30 years ago – have taken strong actions to help create policy change supportive of the charter movement. In some instances, policymakers were driven to push through change born out of personal experience founding or working to expand charter schools to improve public education more broadly. In others, policymakers were inspired by success in other contexts to push policy changes that helped found chartering for entire states.
The commitment of policymakers is another aspect of the charter school founders story that continues to this day and is deserving of our attention and appreciation. Colorado’s Governor Polis went to bat for charter schools recently, sharing his opposition to new regulations on the federal Charter Schools Program with Secretary Cardona in this high-impact letter.