News and Announcements

Tom Nida Award

The Charter Schools Development Corporation (CSDC) today announced the awarding of the first ever Tom Nida Charter School Innovation and Academic Excellence Award to three outstanding charter schools from across the country. The Tom Nida Award was created to honor Tom Nida, a nationally recognized expert and innovator in public charter school financing who served nearly two decades as Chair of CSDC’s Board of Directors before retiring from that position earlier this year. This competitive award recognizes and supports charter schools participating in one of CSDC’s facilities programs and displaying outstanding achievement in the areas of financial performance, academics and leadership and governance.

Click here to read the press release.

The Founding Friends Library

To celebrate the 30th year of charter public schools, we are launching a first-of-its-kind website during May 2021 National Charter Schools Week! The new stand-alone Founders Library website is the only resource of its kind to record the 30-year history of chartering across the nation in original words and documents of chartering pioneers. Over 20 leading chartering pioneers have already made this website home to their oral histories or documents to preserve the legacy of the chartering Idea. And we are just getting started!

For more information or to show your support, click here.

Tracing the Path of Charter School Facilities With the Lawmaker Who Passed the Nation’s First Charter School Law

When former Minnesota State Senator Ember Reichgott Junge traveled the tumultuous journey to pass the first charter school law in the nation on June 4, 1991, the issue of charter school facilities was rarely mentioned in any debate. “Legislators assumed that charter schools would have access to existing school facilities or other buildings,” she recalled. But, of course, that has not been the case.

It was clear that charter schools needed financing and other funding to build the kind of facilities their students deserve. Despite all the advances in the chartering facilities arena over 30 years, studies show facilities to still be the greatest barrier to establishing and expanding charter schools. Read more about the history of public charter school facility funding, and current efforts to improve the sector.

Find Reichgott Junge and Michelle Prosperi’s article, exclusive to School Improvement Partnership, here: Charter Schools at Age 30: Can Facilities Keep Up?