Sponsor (Authorizer) Assistance Initiative

« Back to Autonomy and Shared Power
Past Initiative

As the chartering laws began to develop the states began to let organizations other than the local district approve the establishment of a new school: colleges and universities, large non-profit organizations and new public agencies created solely for the purpose of sponsoring (now known as authorizing) new schools.

In the early years not a lot of thought was given to the operation of these new surrogates for the state, and to the process for authorizing a new school. Quickly, however, it became clear that the quality of the sponsors’ decision about start-up—and the quality of its oversight of the school during the term of the contract—were critical to the success of a given school and critical to the success of the state’s chartering program.

In about 2003 Education Evolving began working to strengthen sponsors and sponsoring in Minnesota. We started simply by getting representatives of the sponsoring organizations together, to share experience. Out of this grew the Sponsors Assistance Network, supported by the state of Minnesota and run through Education Evolving until mid 2007. It was run by EE associate Robert Wedl.

This initiative is now finished. However, we still have many publications in our archive that have to do with authorizing.

Goals of the Initiative Were:

  1. Assist organizations to improve their sponsoring capacities through individualized assistance provided by a cadre of experts as well as facilitating statewide training and networking.
  2. Develop a “Quality Indicator System” for sponsors and assist sponsors achieve these qualities to assure that all chartered schools will have high quality sponsors.
  3. Collaborate with key partners for support to gain the financial assistance needed by sponsors in order for them to provide quality sponsoring.
  4. Be a partner in the ongoing effort to improve learning opportunities for Minnesota’s children and youth.