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What is a charter school?

Charter schools are typically operated by nonprofit corporations or municipalities. A governing board, elected according to the by-laws of the nonprofit corporation or the municipality, has the responsibility of managing the school's affairs. This includes setting policies and procedures, adopting a budget and being accountable to the school's students, families and the sponsor.

Frequently asked questions

What requirements are charter schools required to meet?

Charter schools must participate in the state assessment system. They must meet state graduation requirements. They must achieve locally negotiated student performance goals. They must meet any other specified requirements particular to the state in which the charter is granted.

Are charter schools required to employ certified teachers?

Yes. Statutory provisions require teachers employed by or under contract with a charter school to be certified as required by current law.

What is the purpose of charter schools? 

Charter schools are guided by the following principles:

  • meet high standards of student achievement while providing parents flexibility to choose among diverse educational opportunities within the state's public school system;
  • promote enhanced academic success and financial efficiency by aligning responsibility with accountability; and
  • provide parents with sufficient information on whether their child is reading at grade level and whether the child gains at least a year's worth of learning for every year spent in the charter school.


What makes charter schools effective?

Charter schools allow teachers and principals to respond immediately and accurately to specific educational needs within a community. They offer complete site-based decision-making. Charter schools provide full contractual and budgetary autonomy. In providing a choice in educational options, charter schools stimulate competition to raise the standard for all students.

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