A charter school is an independently run public school granted greater flexibility in its operations, in return for greater accountability for performance. The “charter” establishing each school is a performance contract detailing the school’s mission, program, students served, performance goals, and methods of assessment. Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. Charters serve all students, including those with special needs and English language learners. They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools. Charter schools are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters. They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability. Every five years, charter schools undergo a charter renewal process. If a charter school does not meet performance goals, it may be closed.

Who attends charter schools? Whom do they serve?

Are all charter schools the same?

How are charter schools funded?