What is a Charter School?

A charter school is a tuition-free, non-selective, independently run public school granted greater flexibility in its operations in return for greater accountability for performance. They have the freedom to use their own curriculum and teaching methods, manage their own finances, hire their own teachers, set their own calendars, etc. In exchange for this flexibility, charter schools must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability. These metrics are outlined in the “charter,” which is essentially a contract between the leadership of the school and the authorizer– usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university. In addition, charter schools operate with fewer dollars per student, and state charter schools do not receive funding through local tax revenue.

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