The work of public charter school authorizers matters. It matters in the quality of California’s public charter schools and in making sure that every child in our state has access to a great education. To execute this important work, our state needs strong professionals skilled in authorizing to ensure that students and the public are being served well. Individuals tasked with this important role have come together and formed an association of authorizing professionals to provide resources, training, and other supports to advance quality in California’s charter school authorizing sector. We are the California Charter Authorizing Professionals (CCAP).

The public charter school landscape has expanded and evolved rapidly—and continues to do so. California currently has more than 1,130 public charter schools serving more than half a million students in 51 of 58 counties. They range from small, traditional schools to large, high-tech learning environments. The quality of the education in these schools is impacted by the quality of the oversight and monitoring provided by their authorizing agencies.

Public charter schools are authorized by hundreds of individual agencies, from small single-school districts to large urban ones. More than 90 percent of these agencies authorize six or fewer public charter schools. Charter law provides limited funding to support authorizing activities and often the individuals tasked with this important responsibility are balancing other duties and require additional training, tools, and resources to do it well. As this oversight challenge grows, the need for immediate support becomes increasingly critical to foster quality in the field.

In this context, the quality of public charter school authorizing and monitoring depends on the ability of authorizing professionals to employ the most effective and efficient practices.

Recently, a group of authorizing professionals from around the state has developed a framework for an organization of public charter school authorizing professionals with the following mission:

Members of the California Charter Authorizing Professionals (CCAP) advance quality public education for all students by
providing charter school authorizing professionals with the support, resources, and collective voice necessary to foster
high-performing, fiscally sound, autonomous, and accountable charter schools.

To accomplish this important mission, authorizing professionals collaborate with education organizations, public charter schools, researchers and policymakers and build a community that:

  • Identifies promising practices in the core areas of an authorizing office, including charter school authorization and reauthorization, oversight, governance, accountability and autonomy.
  • Develop a library of useful tools and information for authorizing professionals.
  • Convene regional and statewide gatherings of authorizing professionals to disseminate promising practices (in authorizing and charter school performance).
  • Gather, analyze and disseminate information on charter school authorizing practices to inform research and policymaking in the field.
  • Serve as a unifying voice for authorizing professionals and high quality authorizing in California.
  • Represent California authorizers at national professional charter authorizing events.

CCAP is an independent, non-profit association of individual authorizing professionals, authorizing agencies, and stakeholders outside of the field interested in supporting quality authorizing in California’s charter school sector. The majority of the board of directors are made up of active charter authorizing professionals affiliated with California educational agencies. The founding directors represent a cross-section of California’s authorizing landscape, including large and small authorizing school districts, county offices of education, and technical advisors such as consultants and academics.

For more information, or to become a founding member of this organization, please contact CCAP President Jose Cole-Gutierrez.

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CCAP is a California non-profit corporation:

California Corp. ID #3737843; EIN 47-3234553