Arizona ranked fifth in the nationwide Charter School Law and Ranking Scorecard for the second time in two years.
Arizona's overall A score is in part because of the many options parents have when it comes to non-traditional district public schools, as well as the freedom teachers have in charter schools, said Kara Kerwin, president of the Center for Education Reform.
“In Arizona, teachers do have a lot of freedom because they are not forced to maintain district work rules,” Kerwin said. “(For instance), they decide whether or not they participate in a state retirement plan.”
The 15th annual report looked at each state's charter school laws, and how they are being applied.
Arizona received high marks on the facilities fund category, because charter schools in the state received about $1,700 per student for facility compared to other states where charters do not receive this type of funding.
“In terms of per-pupil funding overall, Arizona is on par with the national disparity, receiving about 30 percent less per pupil than traditional schools,” Kerwin said.
This school year there were 605 charter schools in Arizona, 70 more than the previous year, the report showed.
"Even the highest-achieving states in CER's annual rankings still have a long way to go in meeting parental demand, and allowing highly accountable charter school options to flourish, as they are ten or more points away from a perfect score," said Alison Consoletti Zgainer, executive vice president of The Center for Education Reform and lead author of the rankings.