How Do Charter Schools Work?


There are many questions and concerns surrounding charter schools. These include how they work, who owns them, and whether they are worth the investment. While the government is still the primary entity in charge of charter schools, parents and community members have a role to play. As with any organization, charter schools must meet strict regulations, be able to prove their worth, and be accountable to the community.


The debate over education aid and charter schools has become increasingly intense. After five years of a funding freeze, advocates have begun asking what has happened to schools and why the freeze was instituted.

Funding for charter schools is separate from other state aid. Unlike traditional public schools, charters are allowed to raise money through private fundraising. However, they are barred from using operating funds for campus improvements. They must also pay rent directly out of their operating budgets.

In addition, federal funds must be allocated to charter schools like traditional public schools. However, the No Child Left Behind Act increased regulations and accountability requirements for charter schools. This has resulted in many charters reporting lower per-pupil funding than their district counterparts.


The US Department of Education is releasing 13 pages of proposed charter school regulations. It is an attempt to clean up a program that has been rife with fraud and waste for almost two decades. These rules would ensure that only qualified schools receive federal funding. However, the new rules are sure to spark an uproar from the left and the right.

There are some things the charter industry is doing to fight the new rules. They are sending letters to the Department of Education and even making a trip to the White House to rally support. Some are also calling for lawmakers to quash the new rules. But the rule's supporters say they're trying to make a fair and reasonable effort to create accountability for charter school spending.

Accountability to parents, students, and the local community

If you're familiar with accountability in K-12 education, you know that there are multiple mechanisms. While charter schools are held accountable for meeting student achievement goals, they are also held accountable for operating lawfully and responsibly. These two factors are critical to ensuring that students receive quality education in safe public schools.

The charter school movement is maturing as it faces increased demands for accountability. State laws, regulations, and performance frameworks are being developed for charter schools. In addition, some charter schools offer valuable contributions to their communities.

While most states have established a charter school accountability system, it is still in its formative stage. As a result, most existing systems do not provide the recipe for better outcomes. Some advocates advocate for a single model, while others believe that it is important to adapt the system to the students and community.

Specialized education

Specialized education in charter schools is a growing area of interest for parents of struggling students. However, the question of whether a charter school can actually meet the needs of a student with a disability is a controversial one. Charter school operators must focus on instructional modifications, quality standards, and IDEA compliance.

The best way to ensure that a charter school can provide all the services required by a student with a disability is to work with the local school district's special education department. Both the school district and the charter school should work together on an IEP. A well-crafted IEP will help ensure that a student with a disability receives the necessary resources to attend class.

The charter school may also opt to arrange for services on its own. Some examples include speech therapy, occupational therapy, and adjustment counseling.



Network of Independent Charter Schools, A Project of the Center for Educational Innovation.