What are Charter Schools?
Charter Schools are independent public schools put in place by state laws to provide an alternative to traditional Public Schools for students and families seeking an alternative method of education. The contracts empowered by school districts the State Department of Education and other authorized sponsors govern areas such as educational goals, curriculum standards, assessment measures, governance and financing.
The creators of Charter Schools, are often educational professionals, have flexibility in shaping the school, its curriculum, instruction, staffing, budget and internal organization.
How are Charter Schools funded?
Charter Schools are treated as Public Schools. Like District Public Schools, they are funded according to enrollment at the location, and receive funding from the district and the state according to the number of students attending. The ways and amounts at which Charter Schools are funded compared to public schools differ dramatically. Nationwide, Charter Schools are funded at approximately 64 percent of their district counterparts, averaging $7,131 per pupil compared to the average per pupil expenditure of $11,184 in traditional public schools.
What are the differences between Charter Schools and Public Schools?
Charter Schools are Public Schools of choice, meaning that families have the opportunity of choosing them for their children. Regulations that are common in district Public Schools may not be applicable in certain Charter Schools. These schools are accountable for upholding the academic results of their students and the promises made in their Charter Schools. They are required to excel in areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability. If a Charter School does not meet performance goals, it may be closed.
As a tax-payer, should I be concerned that I am paying twice for schools (Public Schools and Charter Schools)?
No. Although Charter Schools are funded by the state, each school is paid per pupil. Funds will be available based on where the child is attending; if for example a child is in Public School and withdraws to be in a Charter School, the funds will be transferred for that pupil.