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Can Districts and Charter Schools Work Together to Better Serve Students?

September 16, 2019 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

A Discussion Around School Districts as Charter School Authorizers and Federal CSP Grant Funding Opportunities

Bluum and the Idaho State Board of Education are hosting a workshop to share ideas on how public school districts can work as charter school authorizers to support educational opportunities for students in their communities. Idaho’s Communities of Excellence federal CSP grant has provided the Gem State with $17.1 million to open, expand or replicate high performance public charter schools, especially those targeting higher need and rural students.


  • K-12 District Superintendents or Designees
  • Decision-makers from Universities and Community Colleges
  • State policy makers and lawmakers

1. Better understand ways school districts can use charter school authorizing to provide new learning opportunities for students.
2. Better understand opportunities around Idaho’s $17.1M federal Communities of Excellence Charter School Program (CSP) Grant
3. Better understand supports available to school districts who currently authorize or may want to authorize charter schools
4. Learn from the work of school district authorizers in other states

Agenda at a Glance

  • Introductions and Opening Remarks
  • The History of Idaho’s Public Charter Schools
  • Overview of Idaho’s Communities of Excellence federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grant
  • School Districts as Charter School Authorizers – Benefits & Barriers
  • Authorizing Lessons and Success Strategies from Other States

Coffee and water will be provided



About Our Nationally Recognized & Idaho Education Speakers

Alex Medler
Alex Medler, Ph.D, has been a national expert on charter school policy since the opening days of the movement, analyzing the first laws in 1992. He leads the Tri-State Alliance to Improve District-Led Charter Authorizing, which helps school districts in California, Colorado, and Florida strengthen their charter authorizing practices. As part of this work he directs the Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers. He previously led the National Charter School Resource Center and directed policy, research, and technical assistance initiatives for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA).  He also served on NACSA’s Board of Directors from 2007 to 2009.Additionally, Alex chaired the board of the state-wide charter authorizer in Colorado; directed research and policy development for the Colorado Children’s Campaign; led national activities for the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program; and directed charter school and school choice work for the Education Commission of the States.

Chris E. Yorgason
An Idaho attorney, Chris Yorgason’s practice focuses on municipal government, education, charter schools, real estate and general business. Chris attended Brigham Young University where he graduated in 1995 with a double major in political science and finance, with an international emphasis. In 1998, Chris graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board of Advocates and a member of the team that competed in the Willem Vis International Moot Arbitration competition in Vienna, Austria.  During law school, he externed with the Honorable Larry M. Boyle (US Federal District Court of Idaho) and after law school he clerked for the Honorable D. Duff McKee (Ada County Fourth Judicial District).

Chris is a member of the Idaho Bar Association and its Government, Real Estate and Alternative Dispute Resolution sections. He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Idaho. Chris has served as a member of the board of directors of the Congressional Award Council of Idaho and Serve Idaho, the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism. He is currently serving as a board member of the Cantus Youth Choirs and is the president of the Idaho Mediation Association.

Terry Ryan
Terry Ryan is CEO of Bluum and Board Chair of the Idaho Charter School Network. Ryan is responsible for leading Idaho’s effort to double the number of students in Idaho high-performing public charter schools. Ryan leads Idaho’s federal Charter School Program (CSP) grant of $17.1 million.

Ryan served as Vice-President for Ohio Programs and Policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute for twelve years from 2001 to 2013. He began his career in education as a teacher in Poland and worked with the Polish Ministry of Education and the Foundation for Education for Democracy on education policy and civic education. In the 1990s, he served as research director for the UK-based 21st Century Learning Initiative.

He is a member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Policy Advisory Council, and served as a Commissioner for the CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance. He has co-authored two books on education. Ohio’s Education Reform Challenges: Lessons from the Frontlines with Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Michael Lafferty of (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and The Unfinished Revolution with John Abbott (ASCD Press, 2000).

This free professional learning opportunity hosted by members of the Communities of Excellence Consortium, and funded by Idaho’s Communities of Excellence Program.

$4,338 (90%) of this event funded by Federal CSP Grant dollars; $500.00 (10% admin cost) of this event funded by Bluum; total cost $4,838.00. This is a competitive public charter school grant program funded under the Congressional Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA, Public Law 114-95), which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 (ESEA).


September 16, 2019
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Idaho State Board of Education
650 W. State Street, Suite 307
Boise, ID 83702 United States
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