The Minneapolis teachers’ union has become the first in the nation to win the right to authorize charter schools.
State officials have approved the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers as a charter school authorizer.
Authorizers don’t run charters; they oversee the administrators and school boards that handle day-to-day operations of a charter school. Authorizers are also primary decision makers on which schools to sponsor.
During the 20-year history of charter schools there have been examples of teachers starting schools, and some charters have unionized teachers.
MFT will be the first union to serve as a charter sponsor. Formally, it has created an organization called the Minnesota Guild of Charter Schools (informally ‘the Guild’) that will serve as authorizer.