Authorizers Are Not Monolithic on School Discipline: How Charter School Authorizers Differ in School Discipline Engagement

In theory, authorizers play an important role in decisions regarding charter schools and student discipline, as they are the bodies responsible for protecting the public interest, while balancing school autonomy and accountability. Within public education, a rigorous debate is occurring about student discipline practices, particularly suspensions and expulsions. The practices of charter schools are part of this debate, yet little is known about what is currently happening on the ground. Are they too heavy handed? Or are they currently not doing enough?

This report further examines NACSA’s recently released data on authorizer perspectives and practices on school discipline. While the big picture information demonstrated a range of approaches and perspectives, inspection of the data within each authorizer’s individual responses appeared to reveal some patterns.