Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE CHARTER SCHOOLS?
Charter schools are public schools. They are tuition-free and open to any student who wishes to attend. Charter schools allow parents, organizations, or community groups to restore, reinvent, and reenergize our public school system. Charter schools are designed, tailored, and governed by each local community, rather than by a central bureaucracy.
ARE CHARTERS PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
Yes, charter schools are tuition-free, public schools that operate independently from the school district’s central bureaucracy. Each charter school is governed by its own local school community, which often includes parents and teachers – rather than a district. This freedom allows teachers to be more innovative, and communities to shape their local school.
HOW CAN I APPLY FOR A CHARTER SCHOOL? ARE THERE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS?
Charter schools are open to ALL children and they are committed to serving a student body that reflects the local community. Research evidence shows that charter school students are just as diverse (racially and economically) as non-charter students.
By law, charter schools can never have selective admissions; anyone can apply and, if more students want to attend than there are seats available, there is a lottery to determine who is admitted.
DOES IT MATTER WHERE I LIVE? WHAT IS THE ATTENDANCE BOUNDARY?
As schools of choice, all charter schools are open to any student who wants to apply, regardless of where he or she lives, space permitting. Independent Study or non-classroom based schools have some geographical limitations such as only being open to students from a specific county.
HOW DOES THE LOTTERY SYSTEM WORK?
Charter schools are open to all students who want to attend, regardless of where they live. If the school receives more students than for which it has spots available, it is required by law to hold a blind lottery to determine which students will have the opportunity to attend. Many charter schools have wait lists and may admit more students as spots become available.