Happy 25th Anniversary, Chartering Friends!

Twenty-five years ago on June 4, at 9:05 p.m., Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson signed the first charter school bill into law as part of a larger Omnibus Education Funding Bill.   Today nearly three million students attend 6800 charter public schools in 43 states, District of Columbia, Guam, and even Alberta, Canada.

This is a good time to remember the Minnesota pioneers and bipartisan lawmakers who made this happen.  DFL Governor Rudy Perpich got the ball rolling with post secondary options and open enrollment.  Chartering pioneers include Ted Kolderie, Joe Nathan, Commissioner of Education Tom Nelson, the Citizens League, and its then Executive Director Curt Johnson.  DFL Representative Becky Kelso was an extraordinary champion as the bill’s lead House author.  Conference Committee members who supported chartering were Senators Ron DicklichGen Olson (Republican lead), Sandra Pappas, Gary DeCramer, and Greg Dahl; and RepresentativesKen NelsonBecky Kelso and Gary Schafer.  Special shout outs go to Senate Counsel Betsy RiceRep. Charlie Weaver and Speaker of theHouse Bob Vanasek.

Chartering is about opportunity for children and families.  That’s something to celebrate!

Anniversary video