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Go In Depth With Charter Schools 101

There are many different options to consider when choosing how to educate your children. Homeschooling, private schools, public schools, and now Charter schools. The pandemic has changed the way that people view their children’s education, with many more choosing to home school or look for a more flexible approach. 

Charter schools are now starting to appear in many towns and cities across the country in both urban and suburban areas.

If you’re wondering if a Charter school is right for you and your family, here is a guide to what a Charter school is and how it’s run. 

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

What is a Charter school? 

Charter schools receive their funding from the public purse but are run by a group that is independent of the state. Though they are publicly funded, they have far more power to set their own curriculums, schedules, and policies. 

They operate separately from unions, giving them greater control over who they hire and the contract terms they can set for employees. 

 

Admissions

By law, a Charter school is not supposed to be able to pick and choose who can attend, though some people have argued that this does not work in practice and that Charter schools are taking the lion’s share of top achieving pupils. However, there are some Charter schools in disadvantaged areas that achieve fantastic results in closing the gap between the worst and best-performing students. 

Enrollment trends, in general, are changing, as you can see from this article featuring Matthias O’Meara, Founder of Choice Advisors. 

 

Who do Charter schools answer to?

Even with this greater level of independence from school boards and the state, Charter schools must still prove that they are run within all prevailing laws and regulations, are financially stable, and are providing students with a good education. If they fail to do so, they can be shut down. It is estimated that up to 15 percent of Charter schools have been closed across the US due to failing to meet these standards. 

 

Who can run a Charter school?

A Charter school can be run or set up by a wide variety of groups on a for-profit or non-profit basis. These include parents, businesses, charities, and churches. There are organizations that run a number of Charter schools in various states. Each state has its own laws on who can approve a Charter school. 

 

Things to consider when choosing a Charter school

When deciding whether or not to send your child to a local Charter school, you should do some research into it first before submitting an application. Check the statistics on how well they do in academic performance. Also, look into any additional activities you would like your child to have the opportunity to pursue such as sports and athletics or music

Finally, you should also check out the curriculum taught at the school. As Charter schools have more leeway in setting this, they may be teaching subjects or theories you do not agree with. It’s important you find this out now. 

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