Charter schools are public elementary and secondary schools that are newly created or adapted from existing schools. Charter schools are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Because they are public schools, they are:

• Open to all children;

• Do not charge tuition; and

• Do not have special entrance requirements.

Students attend charter schools by choice of their parents or guardians rather than by assignment by a school district. If applications to attend a charter school exceed spaces available, enrollment is decided by lottery.

For more information about charter schools, visit the Understanding Charter Schools Focus Area. There, you will find reports, articles, and briefs covering the basics, rigorous research, and profiles of successful charter schools. For additional information specific to English Learners or Special Education, please visit the respective Focus Areas also found in Key Links on this page.

Resources & Research