What is a public charter school?
A public charter is a public school that is tuition-free and open to any students who wishes to attend. Charter schools are designed, tailored, and governed by a governance board made of up community member, local experts, and parents.
Public charter schools are tuition-free and open to all students. They are publicly funded and 99% are managed by non-profit organizations. Charter schools receive less funding than traditional public schools, but, like all public schools, charters fundraise and receive donations to help support students.
Anyone! Public charter schools are open to all students and are built on the belief that every student should have to chance to go to a school that puts their needs first, regardless of zip code, income, or ability. By law, charter schools can never have selective admissions; anyone can apply and if more students want to attend than there are seats available, there is a lottery to determine who is admitted.
Public charter schools are granted the autonomy to offer the personal attention, creativity, and diverse instruction that many students need to learn. In exchange for this higher autonomy, charter schools are held to high performance standards.
Charter schools are actually more accountable to parents and students than conventional schools. Because they are governed by the parents, teachers and administrators that make up the local school community, charters are directly accountable to the community they serve. Local governance allows the school community freedom to innovate and make decisions based on the needs of its students. Additionally, charter schools are reviewed for renewal every five years by the school district or authorizer to ensure they have good academic results, and that they are operating in a fiscally and operationally responsible manner. Public charter schools are also accountable to the same state and federal public education laws and undergo extensive oversight by a charter school authorizer.