CharterNation Blog

A place for California parents to connect with the charter public school community

What are the differences between charter schools & private schools?

The most important difference between charter schools and private schools is this: charter schools are PUBLIC schools!

But there are other key differences you should know:

Tuition free.

Charter schools never charge tuition and are all managed by nonprofit organizations. Because they are tuition free, charter schools are a quality alternative for families not wanting to send their child to an underperforming traditional district school, but who can’t afford expensive tuition at a private school.

Publicly funded.

Charter schools do not earn profits. They are taxpayer funded and open to all students, regardless of zip code or background. Like traditional district schools, charter schools fundraise and receive donations to help with operating costs.

Part of the public school system.

All charter schools in California are one hundred percent public, free, and open to all. Charter schools are strengthening our public education system by ensuring that more students, especially those from underserved communities, have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. Ultimately, the charter school movement believes that improving public education is a shared mission. Working together, charter and traditional public schools can improve learning for all students.  


Want to let your family and friends know that all of California’s charter schools are public schools? Share this graphic!