The voice of California’s charter school movement

Are charter schools public or private?

By Vanessa Alessi

If you’ve ever had to look for the best school for your child – whether it’s high school, middle or elementary – you may have found yourself in a position we know too well: district school options near you are underperforming, and private school tuition isn’t manageable if you want to still pay your rent or mortgage in California. 

That’s where charter public schools come in. Charter schools are another option that help ensure your child has access to a quality public education.  

Too often, unfair and untrue attacks are launched on charter schools and their status as public schools.  Let's clear up any misperceptions you may have heard: Charter schools are public schools open to ALL students.

As California public schools, charter schools never charge tuition, do not earn profits and do not have special entrance requirements. Charter schools are public schools that are funded by taxpayer dollars and are open to all children. And like all public schools, charter schools fundraise and receive donations to help support the school’s operations.

Charter schools are created by passionate groups of educators and parents who are committed to giving more kids the opportunity for a great education, especially where district schools are underperforming, and charters across the state have strong local support from their communities and across the political spectrum. 

That’s because charter schools offer a different approach to school -  one that is as unique as the kids of California, puts kids above bureaucracy, and gives passionate teachers the flexibility to create dynamic lesson plans tailored to kids’ individual needs, leading to higher student outcomes.

In exchange for this flexibility, charter schools must meet high standards of accountability. Charter schools are monitored by a local charter authorizer (often the local school district) and are required to report their results on a regular basis to ensure they are meeting or exceeding expectations for all students.

Are you looking for a charter public school near you? 

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