Charter schools face shortage of talented leaders

Charter schools have flourished in the last decade, with enthusiastic backing from parents and bi-partisan political support. But their advocates fear the rapid growth could be stalled by a shortage of high-quality leaders, Sarah Butrymowicz says at the Hechinger Report.

Public schools across the U.S. are also facing a leadership void, but charters face unique problems, Butrymowicz reports. Most charters don’t have the resources of a central district office—like recruitment teams or existing pools of resumes—to find new leaders quickly, for one thing. And charter principals need skills to take on tasks like fundraising and student recruitment that aren’t generally required of public school leaders.

The shortage of qualified leaders “has already substantially throttled the growth” of charter schools, said Eric Premack, director of a Sacramento-based nonprofit that offers training, resources and technical assistance to charters. “We would have two to three times as many schools operating if we didn’t have this problem.”