As stewards of the charter school movement in Utah we act with integrity and pursue excellence. We recognize the strength of uniting our efforts towards the common goals of all charter schools and make decisions based on evidence and evaluate our work by how effective it advances excellence in public charter schools. We see charter schools throughout the state of Utah as independent public schools governed by their approved charters and supported by families, communities and policy makers who recognize the importance of innovation, autonomy and choice in education. As educational institutions, they are achieving their unique missions while inspiring and empowering charter school leaders to achieve long-term stability and excellence thereby reshaping public education in Utah so every child has an equal opportunity to achieve academic success.
The Utah Association of Public Charter Schools began as a group of volunteers from the seven original charter schools in the state. This small group of parents met irregularly to share ideas, discuss policy, and navigate the unchartered waters of charter schools together.
It was in 2002 when the Association began to take form. The Center for Education Reform contacted the Association to host a statewide event for the Deputy Secretary of Education on behalf of the mountain states during National Charter School Week. The event was a huge success for the still infant charter school movement in Utah as every charter school in the state participated. Due to the success of this event and the explosion of charter school popularity in the state the Utah Association of Public Charter School was officially founded and incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization.
While the organization became official it was still run entirely by volunteers. These volunteers put in countless hours lobbying state legislators, hosting regular member meetings, and coordinating events to showcase charter schools. It was not until 2004 that UAPCS brought on their first employee to manage the affairs of the organization.
Since then UAPCS has grown modestly in employees, but “exploded” in member schools, students, and parents. In the Fall of 2016 there will be roughly 124 charter schools operating in the state representing over 67,000 public school students, roughly 10% of Utah’s student population.
The Utah Association of Public Charter Schools is the clearinghouse for all things charter. We focus on three populations in the charter movement: