What is a Charter School and Why My Child Should Attend?
What is the difference between a public school and a charter school?
Charter schools are public schools run by independent entities. The founding premise behind charter schools was to give communities the opportunity to educate their children according to their own philosophies of education. The "charter" or agreement establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success. Each charter school has an agreement with its school district outlining exactly what its plans are and how they plan to implement them. Accordingly, charter schools may hire their own staff, develop their own curriculum and set their own educational programs and methods of operation under the oversight of the school board and authorizer/sponsor.
So who are charter schools accountable to?
In addition to adhering to all of the same state and local rules and regulations that public schools must adhere to, charter schools have an added level of accountability. They are overseen by their charter authorizer, and if a charter school does not meet specific standards as determined by the state and its authorizer, the school's charter may not be renewed which would result in it being shut down. Charter Schools are also held accountable by their school board, who has ultimate responsibility for meeting the requirements of the charter. Finally, charter schools are held accountable by their parents and students who are there by choice and can ultimately choose another school if they aren't satisfied.
Do charter school students have to pay tuition to attend the school?
Charter schools receive funds on a per-student basis from the state in which they operate, just like traditional public schools do. Charters, just like traditional public schools, do not charge tuition.
Is my child eligible to come to a charter school?
Charter schools must admit any student according to their stipulations who applies unless the classroom capacity is exceeded, in which case a public lottery is held to randomly fill the available seats.
Brag StRream Colligiate Institute Charter School
Edgewood Communuty Center
Opening August 2019
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A Place For Every Child
Dr. Gary L Burgess, Chair
Exert from Washington Post
By Nina Rees, Opinion Contributor April 27, 2016, at 5:30 p.m.
When I looked at The Washington Post's latest rankings of "America's Most Challenging High Schools," my heart leapt. My daughter's school, Washington International School, ranked first in the Washington, D.C. area. My husband and I chose the school because of its International Baccalaureate, or IB, program, its international community and its focus on foreign languages. The fact that it ranked high on the list confirmed that we had made the right choice.
I also know that my daughter will be fine regardless of where she goes to school. I have been involved in education policy for more than 20 years. My husband is a professional writer. We value education and are fortunate that we can provide our daughter with any support she might need.
Many families – and many students – aren't in the same position. Their choices may be limited by income or geography. Parents may not have graduated from high school. They may be stringing together multiple jobs to make ends meet, with little time to stay on top of what's happening at school. This is why it's critically important that families, especially families in underserved communities, have great public school options available to them.
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