What is an Authorizer?
In accordance with MN charter laws, all public charter schools are required to have an overseer for accountability and that’s the role of the authorizer. Authorizers are either traditional public school districts, non-profit organizations with an interest in chartering, or single purpose non-profits that do nothing but charter authorizing. Some authorizers have additional requirements of their schools such as Osprey Wilds that requires every one of their schools to have an environmental education program or Volunteers of America that require a service learning component of all schools. The MN Guild, which is ASA’s authorizer, does not have an additional requirement.
What Does an Authorizer Do?
The objectives of the authorizer are to monitor the school for compliance to MN laws, ensure fiscal accountability, and hold the school accountable for progress towards academic and mission goals. If at any point a school is in danger of failing to meet these goals, authorizers can step in with supports or ultimately if unsuccessful, the authorizer can decline renewal of the school’s charter which will effectively close the school.
Is the Authorizer Like a School Board?
No. Charter schools have their own school boards that control the local decisions. The authorizer acts as an intermediary between the MN Dept of Ed and the local school board.
How are Authorizers Funded?
Authorizers are allowed to collect fees from the schools in their portfolio. These rates are set by MN law and are based on school enrollment size. ASA pays approximately $25,000 yearly in authorizing fees.
Would a Parent Ever Contact an Authorizer?
While theoretically possible, a parent contacting an authorizer is a pretty rare occurrence. The authorizer is responsible for overall school accountability to the state, so they are not involved in the day to day operations of individual schools. Only in certain cases do authorizers get involved and that’s typically when there is a substantial legal or fiscal issue. If someone does reach out to the authorizer regarding an issue at the school, the authorizer will typically reach out to the school board or the administrator for clarification to resolve.
The vision of the Guild is to be the leading authorizer of teacher powered schools that result in multiple measures of student success through collaborative innovations in teaching and learning.
The Guild advances the original vision of the chartered-school model, in which teachers are professionally organized and work to create innovative, research-based schools that rely on teacher expertise to identify and use effective teaching strategies, promote engaged student learning, create professional autonomy, and ensure effective, shared responsibility for outcomes.
The Guild vision is aligned with Minnesota Statutes §124E, Subd. 1 (5): create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program.
323 Washington Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401