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Site Selection Process
The first step in selecting states was to identify which states have policies and programs that fall into the four major categories of state-level charter school facilities assistance. A matrix of the four types of charter school facilities assistance by state was created using data from LISC's 2007 Charter School Facility Finance Landscape study and an online database of state policy related to charter school facilities finance developed by the Education Commission of the States in partnership with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
This initial list included approximately 95 policies and programs that fall into the four categories, which are in place in 37 different states and Washington, D.C. This matrix summarizing state policies across the four categories was shared with the advisory group on Feb. 5, 2008, at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement, to solicit further recommendations.
The research team asked advisors to consider and discuss components of exemplary state policy and practice within each of the conceptual framework's four types of assistance. Across these categories, advisors provided guidance on what constitutes evidence of such policy and practice and how states that are most effectively implementing policies intended to help charters meet their facilities needs could be identified. Based on this discussion, the research team summarized the advisory group's recommended guidelines for selecting exemplary forms of statelevel charter facilities assistance (see below).
Based on the recommendations from the advisory group, the initial list of 37 states was narrowed to ten states known or thought to potentially have exemplary policy or practice in at least one of the four categories. The group recommended that three of the states known to have the most exemplary and exhaustive charter school facilities assistance policies be selected for the study, and suggested an additional seven states as candidates for further screening through interviews. One state was dropped when the screening interviews revealed that the strategies of interest had not yet been implemented to the degree advisors had thought.