What are Charter Schools

You’ve heard of them but perhaps you don’t know much about them. They’re charter schools and they have become an appealing alternative to district public schools.

What Are Charter Schools?
Charter schools are public schools that provide specific programs to meet excellence in education and the needs of the community. One may specialize in math and science, another in business and yet another in performning arts.

Where and When Did the First Charter School Open?
St. Paul, Minnesota was the site of the first charter school which opened in 1992. In just 15 years, the number of charter schools operating in 40 states and D.C. is close to 4,000!

What is the Difference Between Charter Schools and District Public Schools?

A. Choice: Families are given the chance to pick the educational setting they think is best for their child. Teachers can also choose to work at schools they feel best suits their teaching style and desired environment.
B. Accountability: Charter schools are expected to reach goals set forth in the charter establishing the school. If this does not happen, the school will close.
C. Freedom: Charter schools must heed the general, major laws that govern any public school. However they do not have to deal with a lot of the “red tape” and can concentrate on superior education.

Why So Much Popularity Surrounding the Charter Schools?
A. Quality of education: Making sure every child has access to a good education is the main reason for charter schools. There are high standards to be met in order for the schools to stay open, much more rigorous than the general public schools.
B. Kids Are the Focus: Charter schools put the needs of the students first. Everything possible should be done to make sure students succeed.
C. Strong and Safe Communities: Usually, local business or organizations help provide the resources for charter schools. This creates a unified community, bringing people together in a safe and strong environment.

How Are Charter Schools Funded?
Educators, parents and local leaders are usually responsible for creating charters for these schools. Funding is allocated by enrollment but often charter schools do not get enough for their financial needs. Many schools begin by converting other school building and facilities into the new schools. This saves on initial capital needed for start up costs.

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