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What is a Charter School?

What is a “Charter School”?

A charter school is a public school of choice that may provide instruction for Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grades. A charter school is usually created or organized by a group of teachers, parents and community leaders or a community-based organization, and is usually authorized by an existing local public school board or county board of education. Specific goals and operating procedures for the charter school are detailed in an agreement (or “charter”) between the authorizing board and charter organizers. The basic concept of charter schools is that they exercise increased autonomy in return for this accountability. They are accountable for both academic results and fiscal practices to several groups: the sponsor that grants them, the parents who choose them, and the public that funds them.

What is the purpose of a “Charter School”?

The purpose of a charter school is to: (1) improve pupil learning; (2) increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils identified as academically low achieving; (3) encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods; (4) create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site; (5) provide parents and students with expanded educational opportunities within the public school system without the constraints of traditional rules and structure; (6) provide schools a way to shift from a rule-based to a performance-based system of accountability; and (7) provide competition within the public school system to stimulate improvements in all public schools. [Ref. Education Code §47601]

Will I have to pay tuition for my child to attend?

Absolutely not. The school is funded by the State of California in the same manner in which all public schools are funded. Also, there are multiple grant opportunities for charter schools that are not available to traditional public schools; including but not limited to grants for planning, facilities, design, programs, technology, and initial implementation.