When it comes to trying new ideas, Jennifer Douglas knows it takes a little help,

"Our school is designed to serve pregnant and parenting teens and their children," Douglas said.

She is the executive director and founder of the New Legacy Charter School in Aurora. She says starting a new charter school is challenging, but she was aided by the charter school law which encourages new ideas and high standards.

"That's really the premise of the charter school concept is autonomy and return for accountability and I think our law allows for both," Douglas said.

The balance has caught the attention of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, an advocacy group. It analyzes state laws each year and now ranks Colorado as number 2 behind Indiana in terms of laws friendliest to charter schools.

Dan Schaller is the director of governmental affairs for the Colorado League of Charter Schools.

"We're grateful to see that we're in at a number two ranking," Schaller said. "I think it continues to point the way for how Colorado is leading the way in charter school development."

He says a big factor was the passage last year of a law requiring for equal funding for charter schools.

"Equitable distribution of local tax revenue with charter schools," Schaller said. "With equity being such a key plank of what makes a strong charter school law, we're grateful to see it recognized in this fashion."

An environment that now has about 115,000 charter school students in Colorado attending 238 different schools like Douglas'.

"This charter law does allow for really unique programs that serve students in non-traditional ways," Douglas said.