What is a Charter School?
A charter school is an independent public school that operates with freedom from many of the constraints that apply to "traditional schools."
How? Because they are designed and operated by a group of community founders (that can include business leaders, parents, and educators alike), charter schools do not have the many levels of bureaucracy found in traditional public school districts. This allows charter schools to be more nimble and able to respond quicker to the needs of parents, teachers, and students. This organizational structure also results in more control over such areas as personnel, curriculum, budget, discipline, organization of classes and grade levels, and length of the school day, week, and year.
A Quality, Safe Education: Try It. You'll Like It.
Charter schools are "schools of choice," meaning that they offer parents an alternative to their "home" public school. When asked why they chose a charter school, the top responses were:
Individualized attention (smaller classes, better class structure).
Quality of academics (resulting in improved student performance compared to pupils in "home" public school).
Safe and inviting school climate.
Dissatisfaction with "home" school/system.
And, parents who chose charter schools LOVE their charter school. In a recent statewide survey, 42% of charter parents gave their school an "A," a figure that was twice as high as the number of public-school parents who gave the same grade to their school (21%).
For more general information on charter schools, refer to the "Charter School Misconceptions" presentation and the "Charter Schools in the U.S.: A Snapshot" pages at left, or the U.S. Charter Schools website.