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What Are Charter Schools?

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At some point when you are looking for a school for your child, you will likely hear the term “charter school.” But many people don’t really understand what charter schools are, or how they are different from regular public schools.

Charter schools are like public schools in that they do not charge admission to their students. But, they differ from traditional public schools in three different ways.

First of all, charter schools are funded based on accountability. Charter schools each have a contract that states the goals of the school. If the goals are met and if the school performs up to standards, they receive funding; if not, they are closed. Accountability is important for charter schools.

Secondly, charter schools have more freedom than public schools. They do not have as much red tape and as many strict regulations as regular public schools (although they do have to stick with the same major state laws and regulations as traditional public schools).

Next, charter schools offer choice. The goals of each charter school are different. Some are designed to meet the needs of a specific community. Others may have goals that help students in certain academic areas or may have specifically different teaching environments. Parents can choose a charter school for their child based upon which school they feel is the best fit for their child.
Charter schools are quickly spreading across the country, with more and more opening every year. There are over 4100 charter schools currently, with that number rapidly rising.

Some people are worried that charter schools take funding away from public schools. This is not the case—charter schools are public schools. Whichever school a student attends, whether a regular public school or a charter school, the funding money for that student follows him to that school.
Charter schools can be good schools to consider when deciding on a school for your child.

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