Gov. Little signs IDAHO WORKS bill to support public charter schools

Tuesday February 27, 2024

Eagle, Idaho – Surrounded by students, parents, and teachers at North Star Public Charter School in Eagle, Governor Brad Little signed House Bill 422, the Accelerating Public Charter Schools Act, into law today.

“I am a huge supporter of charter schools because they offer families more options for their children’s education while providing taxpayers and the people of Idaho the accountability and transparency they deserve,” Governor Little said.

Charter schools embrace a variety of learning methods and education delivery models. Governor Little said many of the top performing schools in Idaho are charter schools because there is strong parental involvement, leading to better student performance.

Seventy-four charter schools operate in Idaho, serving about 30,000 students – a 30% jump from just five years ago. These charter schools educate just under 10% percent of all public school students in Idaho, and at least 10,000 students in Idaho are on waitlists for charter schools.

In his State of the State speech in January, Governor Little laid out his plan for the improvements championed in House Bill 422. This bill cuts red tape around supporting charter schools in Idaho through best practices, development, and educational and operational assistance. It gives more flexibility for the high performing charters of Idaho and more support to charters that are struggling and need more guidance.

Governor Little also noted Idaho boasts a full menu of diverse school choice options for families. Idaho is a leader in education freedom, in large part because of our support for charter schools. Idaho also offers parents resources to support their children’s education outside the classroom. Idaho landed first place for the best new open enrollment law when we expanded opportunities last year for parents to choose the public school that is best for their child regardless of their zip code. Idaho is also the number one state for return on investment in education.

“I have stated over and over that I will continue to champion a fair, responsible, transparent, and accountable approach to expanding school choice in Idaho, one that does not draw resources away from our public schools. Supporting charter schools fits perfectly into that vision,” Governor Little said.