Charter Schools


Charter schools are public schools that are run autonomously and have the freedom to build classrooms that match the requirements of their pupils. All charter schools are held accountable to the high standards established in their “charter” by a charter school authorizer, which is commonly a nonprofit organization, government agency, or institution. Former teachers who wished to take the principles they gained in the classroom and apply them to an entire school are common leaders of charter schools. Inside and out, each of the more than 7,000 charter schools is distinct. Some emphasis on college preparation, while others follow a STEM curriculum and include the arts in every subject. The majority of charter schools are in urban locations; however there are also charter schools in suburban and rural areas. Uniforms are required in some charter schools, while others have extended school days and teach their whole curriculum in two languages. The alternatives are unlimited, but charter schools try to provide a variety of options so that parents can select the best public school for their child. Parents’ reasons for sending their children to charter schools are as diverse as the pupils themselves.

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How is a Charter School Different from Regular School?

There are several distinctions, both in terms of how schools are organized and what education entails on a daily basis. Both are considered “public” institutions since they are sponsored by taxpayers, do not charge tuition, and must accept any student who applies. However, while a neighborhood public school is administered by a school district and its school board, charter schools are run by non-profit or for-profit organizations. In addition, students are not assigned to charter schools based on their residence. Instead, parents compete for charter school seats in a lottery. Charter schools are also exempt from most of the rules and regulations that govern traditional public schools, including union contracts. Instead, they must show that they are producing results and that they are financially stable. Failures in charter schools may result in their closure. In some states, charter schools are allowed to hire teachers who are not state-certified. Teachers in charter schools are more likely than in public schools to be paid depending on their performance.

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Who Runs Charter Schools?

A charter school, like a local charity, is operated by a school leader or principal and governed by an appointed board on a daily, operational basis. Charter schools, unlike many traditional public schools, are not governed directly by an elected school board, though there is a qualifier to that last statement that we’ll explain later. At the state level, charter schools are supervised by an authorizer, which has the authority under state law to approve new charter schools and close those that are failing. According to the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, there are six types of authorizers: independent chartering boards, state education agencies, higher education institutions, non-educational government entities like the mayor’s office, nonprofit organizations, and local education agencies or school districts.

Do Charter Schools have Admissions Policies?

Although charter schools are not required to establish admissions policies, opponents claim that many do. According to a 2013 Reuters study, some colleges require an entrance exam or a lengthy application that contains essay questions. Individual reports have surfaced of charter schools doing improper background checks on candidates. Opponents of charter schools claim that they expel considerably more children than traditional public schools. While there is little information on expulsions, assessments in DC and Chicago have revealed indications of greater expulsion rates at charter schools than at regular public schools. US Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a supporter of charter schools, has blasted the figures and urged charter schools to improve.


Supporters of charter schools believe that this is one of the reasons they are successful: they can teach children who want to learn and attend school, and parents support stringent discipline practices. The most well-known charter schools and charter network organizations that run charter schools around the country are frequently located in difficult, high-poverty school districts. Those charter schools target low-income students, and some of them are among the most successful in improving student grades and test scores. However, charter schools can also be found in other urban areas.

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