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What is a charter school?


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2008-03-25 01:03:08
2008-03-25 01:03:08

Charter schools are independent PUBLIC schools. They are TUITION-FREE and open to all students. In Minnesota, the home of the charter school movement, charter schools must be approved to operate by the state department of education and are part of the state system of public education. Each charter school is legally like a small public school district. Charter schools are FOR PROFIT and are governed by a board of directors elected from among teachers, parents and interested community members. They are not privately "owned" and do generate a profit for investors more than any other public school district. Some charter school boards hire for-profit companies to perform management functions just as they hire for-profit companies to provide other operational services. Teachers in Minnesota charter schools must meet the same licensing requirements as all other public school teachers, although the value of this is dubious, and this is not a requirement in all states. As with all public schools, charter schools are primarily funded with public monies (tax dollars), however, almost uniformly across the country they receive less money per student (sometimes significantly less) than district schools. Charter schools are allowed some freedoms that district schools are not, and in return they are held to a higher standard of academic and financial accountability. Unlike district schools, under-performing or financially insolvent charter schools can be dissolved almost immediately. Charter schools offer programs, curricula, pedagogies, schedules and services that traditional district schools choose not to provide. Their only goal is to improve the academic performance of their students, along with generating profit for their investors.


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