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The Evolution of a Charter School: Charter Process

Charter School Process

The State of Wisconsin first passed its charter school legislation in 1993, and has amended it since in both 1995 and 1998. In 1993 there were only 6 charter schools in operation. Today over 87 charter schools are in operation as of the beginning of the 2001-02 school year serving over 7000 students. Wright Middle School was among the original six charter schools in Wisconsin. When the idea for Wright first emerged, planners were calling it an "experimental school," as the concept of charter schools had yet to be formed. Nationally, charter schools have flourished as well. Fittingly, resources to support the efforts are emerging on the web.

First Charter:

In August of 1993, the Department of Public Instruction approved the Madison Metropolitan School District as a charter school district with the ability to establish up to two charter schools. The principal and staff at Madison Middle School 2000 expressed the interest in developing a plan to be recognized as a charter school. In addition to their annual School Improvement Plan, the principal and staff developed a strategic plan for Madison Middle School 2000's charter school status. Four documents were submitted for approval to the Madison Board of Education Teaching & Learning Committee August 25, 1994:

Second Charter:

Wisconsin charters are granted with a five-year term. Wright Middle School has just completed a successful renewal of their charter with the Madison Metropolitan School District. Read the complete charter, valid until the end the 2005-06 school year. (Or download a .pdf version of the current charter.)

DPI Charter School Grants:

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction offers emerging charter schools the opporunity to receive funds from the state to help them plan for, implement, and disseminate infomration about, their charter school. Wright never received a planning grant, though it has received four grants for implemenation of its core mission and dissemnination of its progress.