Defining charter schools

January 06, 2013

Characteristics, set out in state law, that define charter schools:

  • They have nonsectarian programs, policies and operations.
  • They are schools to which parents can choose to send their children.
  • They are open to all students as space is available, with children being admitted by a lottery if there are more applicants than spaces.
  • They are new or existing public schools converted to charter schools.
  • They provide a program of elementary or secondary education or both.
  • They operate in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives.
  • They are tuition-free.
  • They are subject to federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination.
  • They are in compliance with all applicable health and safety laws.
  • They are in compliance with the responsibilities of their public chartering authority, which are listed in state law.
  • They operate under the supervision of the public chartering authority from which their charter is granted.
  • They require students to be physically present at school for a period of time similar to what other public school students spend at school.
  • They are created in accordance with state law and appropriate county school board policy.

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