In his speech to the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce this morning, President Obama said he wanted states to lift their charter schools caps. Some states have limited how many charters can be granted either on the state level or for individual authorizers such as universities or school districts.
When Colorado's Charter School Act passed in 1993 there was a cap of fifty schools. When the law's sunset provision was removed in 1998 the cap was also removed. At the time there were nearly fifty schools and the cap would have been hit, probably within a year.
Why are caps bad? Because it limits the amount of educational choice options available to families who want to use charter schools and it prevents the market from establishing schools based on demand.
The President also emphasized the need for charter schools to provide excellent educational programs and not settle for mediocrity. In the past five years many authorizers and policy makers have shifted their focus from quantity to quality. Early in the charter school movement, the push was to create new charter schools. After several schools failed or simply didn't provide adequate educational programs, policy makers shifted their focus to quality charter schools.