A charter school is a school that receives government funding but operates independently of the established state school system in which it is located. Charter schools are an example of public asset privatization.
There is ongoing debate on whether charter schools ought to be described as private schools or state schools. Advocates of the charter model state that they are public schools because they are open to all students and do not charge tuition, while critics cite charter schools' private operation and loose regulations regarding public accountability and labor issues as arguments against the concept.
All Australian private schools have received some federal government funding since the 1970s. Since then they have educated approximately 30% of high school students. None of them are charter schools, because they all charge tuition fees.
Since 2009, the Government of Western Australia has trialed the Independent Public School (IPS) Initiative. These public schools have greater autonomy and could be regarded as akin to 'charter' Schools (but the term is not used in Australia).
The Canadian province of Alberta enacted legislation in 1994 enabling charter schools. The first charter schools under the new legislation were established in 1995: New Horizons Charter School, Suzuki Charter School, and the Centre for Academic and Personal Excellence. As of 2015, Alberta remains the only Canadian province that has enabled charter schools.
Chile has a long history of private subsidized schooling, akin to charter schooling in the United States. Before the 1980s, most private subsidized schools were religious and owned by churches or other private parties, but they received support from the central government. In the 1980s, the government of Augusto Pinochet promoted neoliberal reforms in the country. In 1981 a competitive voucher system in education was adopted. These vouchers could be used in public schools or private subsidized schools (which can be run for profit). After this reform, the share of private subsidized schools, many of them secular, grew from 18.5% of schools in 1980 to 32.7% of schools in 2001. As of 2012, nearly 60% of Chilean students study in charter schools.
Colombia, like Chile, has a long tradition of religious and private schools. With the economic crisis of religious orders, different levels of the state have had to finance these schools to keep them functioning. Also, in some cities such as Bogotá, there are programs of private schools financed by public resources, giving education access to children from poor sectors. These cases, however, are very small and about 60% of children and young people study in private schools paid for by their families. Moreover, private schools have higher quality than public ones.
The United Kingdom established grant-maintained schools in England and Wales in 1988. They allowed individual schools that were independent of the local school authority. When they were abolished in 1998, most turned into foundation schools, which are really under their local district authority but still have a high degree of autonomy.
Prior to the 2010 general election, there were about 200 academies (publicly funded schools with a significant degree of autonomy) in England. The Academies Act 2010 aims to vastly increase this number.
Due to Art. 7 of the Grundgesetz (German constitution), private schools may only be set up if they do not increase the segregation of pupils by their parents' income class. In return, all private schools are supported financially by government bodies, comparable to charter schools. The amount of control over school organization, curriculum etc. taken over by the state differs from state to state and from school to school. Average financial support given by government bodies was 85% of total costs in 2009. Academically, all private schools must lead their students to the ability to attain standardized, government-provided external tests such as the Abitur.
Some private schools in Hong Kong receive government subsidy under the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS). DSS schools are free to design their curriculum, select their own students, and charge for tuition. A number of DSS schools were formerly state schools prior to joining the scheme.
Charter schools in New Zealand, labelled as Partnership schools | kura hourua, were allowed for after an agreement between the National Party and the ACT Party following the 2011 general election. The controversial legislation passed with a five-vote majority. A small number of charter schools started in 2013 and 2014. All cater for students who have struggled in the normal state school system. Most of the students have issues with drugs, alcohol, poor attendance and achievement. Most of the students are Maori or Pacific Islander. One of the schools is set up as a military academy. One of the schools ran into major difficulties within weeks of starting. It is now being run by an executive manager from Child, Youth and Family, a government social welfare organization, together with a commissioner appointed by the Ministry of Education. 36 organizations have applied to start charter schools.
As in Sweden, the publicly funded but privately run charter schools in Norway are named friskoler and was formally instituted in 2003, but dismissed in 2007. Private schools have since medieval times been a part of the education system, and is today consisting of 63 Montessori and 32 Steiner (Waldorf) charter schools, some religious schools and 11 non-governmental funded schools like the Oslo International School, the German School Max Tau and the French School Lycée Français, a total of 195 schools.
All charter schools can have a list of admission priorities, but only the non-governmental funded schools are allowed to select their students and to make a profit. The charter schools cannot have entrance exams, and supplemental fees are very restricted. In 2013, a total of 19,105 children were enrolled in privately run schools.
The Swedish system of friskolor ("charter schools") was instituted in 1992. These are publicly funded by school vouchers and can be run by not-for-profits as well as for-profit companies. The schools are restricted: for example, they are prohibited from supplementing the public funds with tuition or other fees; pupils must be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis; and entrance exams are not permitted. There are about 900 charter schools throughout the country.
According to the Education Commission of the States, "charter schools are semi-autonomous public schools that receive public funds. They operate under a written contract with a state, district or other entity (referred to as an authorizer or sponsor). This contract - or charter - details how the school will be organized and managed, what students will be expected to achieve, and how success will be measured. Many charters are exempt from a variety of laws and regulations affecting other public schools if they continue to meet the terms of their charters."
Minnesota wrote the first charter school law in the United States in 1991. As of 2015, Minnesota had 165 registered charter schools, with over 41,000 students attending. The first of these to be approved, Bluffview Montessori School in Winona, Minnesota, opened in 1992. The first charter to operate was City Academy in St. Paul. Some specialized Minnesota charter-schools include the Metro Deaf School (1993), Community of Peace Academy (1995), and the Mainstreet School of Performing Arts (2004).
As of December 2011 approximately 5,600 charter schools enrolled an estimated total of more than 2 million students nationwide. The numbers equate to a 13% growth in students in just one year, while more than 400,000 students remain on charter school waitlists. Over 500 new charter schools opened their doors in the 2011–12 school year, an estimated increase of 200,000 students. This year marks the largest single-year increase ever recorded in terms of the number of additional students attending charter schools.
One could argue, the most radical experimentation with charter schools in the United States occurred in New Orleans, Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (2005). As of 2009 the New Orleans Public Schools system was engaged in reforms aimed at decentralizing power away from the pre-Katrina public School Board to individual charter school principals and boards, monitoring charter school performance by granting renewable, five-year operating contracts permitting the closure of those not succeeding, and parents the choice to enroll their children in almost any school in the district. New Orleans is one of two cities in the United States of America where the majority of school students attend charter schools. 78% of all New Orleans schoolchildren studied in charter schools during the 2011–12 school year. As of May 2014, all but five of New Orleans' schools were charter schools rather than public schools.
Unlike their counterparts, laws governing charter schools vary greatly from state to state. In this regard the three states with the highest number of students enrolled in charter schools are California, Arizona, and Michigan. These differences largely relate to what types of public agencies are permitted to authorize the creation of charter schools, whether or not and through what processes private schools can convert to charter schools, and whether or not charter school teachers need to be certified and what that certification consists of.
In California, local school districts are the most frequent granters of school charters. If a local school district denies a charter application, or if the proposed charter school provides services not provided by the local school districts, a county board consisting of superintendents from state schools or the state board of education can grant a charter. The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools grants charters in Arizona. Local school districts and the state board of education can also grant charters. In contrast, the creation of charter schools in Michigan can be authorized only by local school boards or by the governing school boards of state colleges and universities.
Different states with charter-school legislation have adopted widely different positions in regard to the conversion of private schools to charter schools. California, for example, does not allow the conversion of pre-existing private schools into charter schools. Both Arizona and Michigan allow such conversions, but with different requirements. A private school wishing to convert to a charter school in Michigan, for example, must show that at least 25% of its student population is made up of new students. Legislation in Arizona stipulates that private schools that wish to become charter schools within that state must have admission policies that are fair and non-discriminatory. Also, while Michigan and California require teachers at charter schools to hold state certification, those in Arizona do not.
Charter schools were targeted as a major component of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002. Specifically, the act specifies that students attending schools labeled as under-performing by state standards now have the option to transfer to a different school in the district, whether it is a state, private, or charter school. The act also suggested that if a failing school cannot show adequate yearly progress, it will be designated a charter school.
As of 2005 there were almost 100 charter schools in North Carolina, the limit passed by legislation in 1996. The 1996 legislation dictates that there will be no more than five charter schools operating within one school district at any given time. It was passed in order to offer parents options in regard to their children and the school they attend, with most of the cost being covered by tax revenue. After the first several years of permitting charter schools in North Carolina, the authority to grant charters shifted from local boards of education to the State Board of Education. This can also be compared with several other states that have various powers that accept charter school applications.
There is strong demand for charter schools from the private sector. Typically, charter schools operate as nonprofits. However, the buildings in which they operate are generally owned by private landlords. Accordingly, this asset class is generating interest from real-estate investors who are looking towards the development of new schools. State and local governments have also shown willingness to help with financing. Charter schools have grown in popularity over the recent past. In 2014-2015, 500 new charter schools opened in the country. As of 2015, 6,700 charter schools enroll approximately 2.9 million students in the United States.
Charter cyber schools operate like typical charter schools in that they are independently organized schools, but are conducted partly or entirely over the Internet. Proponents say this allows for much more flexibility compared with traditional schools.
For 2000-2001, studies estimated 40-50,000 online K-12 students nationally. Six years later, a study by Picciano and Seamon (2006) found that over 1 million students were involved. These numbers increased to 6.7 million students in 2013. A study by Watson, Murin, Vashaw, Gemin, and Rapp found that cyber charter schools are currently (as of 2014) operating in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The increase of these online campuses has caused controversy among the education system. In November 2015 researchers at the University of Washington, Stanford University and the Mathematica Policy Research group published the first major study into online charter schools in the United States, the "National Study of Online Charter Schools". It found "significantly weaker academic performance" in mathematics and reading in such schools when compared to conventional ones. The study resulted from research carried out in 17 US states which had online charter schools. It concluded that keeping online pupils focused on their work was the biggest problem faced by online charter schools and that in mathematics the difference in attainment between online pupils and their conventionally-educated peers equated to the cyber pupils missing a whole academic year in school.
Four states have adopted specific legislation tailored to cyber charter schools. One example is Arizona, which has about 3,500 students in cyber schools, about half of them cyber charter schools and the other half governed by traditional, bricks and mortar public school districts. The cyber schools teach students from kindergarten to twelfth grade, and the setting varies from being entirely online in one's home to spending all of the class time in a formal school building while learning over the Internet.
Cyber charter school diplomas have been unevenly valued by post-secondary institutions. Universities sometimes apply additional requirements or have cyber-charter quotas limiting the number of applicants. The US military also classifies non-traditional diplomas at a lower tier, although as of 2012 this could be bypassed by high ASVAB test scores.
Charter schools have gradually become popular since the system was introduced in 1996. The United States Department of Education defined these institutions as “public schools that do not charge tuition fees established through a charter or agreement between the school and local district school board.” Through said accord, the charter school gets more autonomy proportional to conventional public schools in exchange for the higher level of accountability.
A policy statement from the National Education Association implemented by the Representative Assembly in 2017 stated that the NEA vows a strong public schools system for American students. Charter schools are funded by taxpayers so there must be the same liability, transparency, safeguards, and impartiality as public schools. 44 American states along with the District of Columbia implement legislation on state charter schools. However, many states do not compel charters to abide by open meeting statutes as well as prerequisites on conflict of interest that pertain to school districts, boards, and employees. The NEA was quoted as declaring that certain state laws, rules, and guidelines may still be relevant to charter schools. These institutions are not supervised by the state but by a board of directors. The establishment of charter schools was meant to promote competition among students and provide parents with more options for enrolling their children. Heightened competition can result in effective educational programs nationwide.
Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos espoused “school choice” before accepting the position in President Donald Trump’s administration. School choice refers to spending funds for public charter schools and some private school. DeVos said in a media interview on March 12, 2018, that charter schools can improve the long-established public school system. Betsy DeVos was a campaigner for the American Federation of Children. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools circulated a research study, “The Health of the Public School Charter Movement: A State by State Analysis.” This report pointed out data regarding the movement’s condition along indicators of quality, progress, and innovation.
Estimations of K-12 online learners in 2000-2001 placed the enrollment nationally at 40- 50,000 students (Clark, 2000) while just a year later The Peak Group (2002) placed the number at 180,000.
Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSACS) is a charter school founded in 2005. It is located at 201 Forest Street in Marlborough, Massachusetts, U.S., in a few remodeled office buildings.
The school is widely recognized for its academic achievements, consistently scoring in the highest percentile among Massachusetts schools in the English, math and science MCAS exams. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school the #2 high school in Massachusetts.As a charter school, AMSACS receives funding from school districts in which its students reside. Students and their families have no direct costs other than uniforms and the fees for extra activities that have become common among most of Massachusetts' public schools.
Admission includes completing an application, attending an open house, and taking math and language arts tests that are solely used to determine placement in the right level of classes. Preference for the limited spaces is given first to siblings of current students regardless of residence, then to residents of Marlborough, Hudson, Clinton, and Maynard, and finally to any resident of Massachusetts.
The school is currently divided into a Lower School (grades 6-8) and an Upper School (grades 9-12) thus making a distinction between two parts of one continuous school.Charter schools in the United States
Charter schools in the United States are primary or secondary education institutions that do not charge fees to pupils who take state-mandated exams. These charter schools are subject to fewer rules, regulations, and statutes than traditional state schools, but receive less public funding than public schools, typically a fixed amount per pupil. There are both non-profit and for-profit charter schools, and only non-profit charters can receive donations from private sources.As of 2016-2017 there were an estimated 6,900 public charter schools in 42 states and the District of Columbia (2016–17) with approximately 3.1 million students, a sixfold increase in enrollment over the past 15 years. In 2015 alone, more than 400 new charter schools opened while 270 schools closed due to low enrollment, lack of finances or low performance. Waiting lists grew from an average of 233 in 2009 to 277 in 2012, with places allocated by a lottery. They educate the majority of children in New Orleans Public Schools. Some charter schools provide a specialized curriculum (for example in arts, mathematics, or vocational training). Charter schools are attended by choice.They may be founded by teachers, parents, or activists although state-authorized charters (schools not chartered by local school districts) are often established by non-profit groups, universities, or government entities. School districts may permit corporations to manage multiple charter schools. The first charter school law was in Minnesota in 1991.
They sometimes face opposition from local boards, state education agencies, and unions. Public-school advocates assert that charter schools are designed to compete with public schools.For-profit education
For-profit education (also known as the education services industry or proprietary education) refers to educational institutions operated by private, profit-seeking businesses. For-profit education is common in many parts of the world, making up more than 70% of the higher education sector in India, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines.Foxborough Regional Charter School
The Foxborough Regional Charter School is a college prep, K through 12, charter school located in Foxborough, Massachusetts.Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States, 25 miles (40 km) from downtown Chicago, Illinois. Gary is adjacent to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and borders southern Lake Michigan. Gary was named after lawyer Elbert Henry Gary, who was the founding chairman of the United States Steel Corporation. The city is known for its large steel mills, and as the birthplace of the Jackson 5 music group.The population of Gary was 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth-largest city in the state of Indiana. It was a prosperous city from the 1920s through the mid-1960s due to its booming steel industry, but overseas competition and restructuring of the steel industry resulted in a decline and a severe loss of jobs.
Since the late 1960s, Gary has suffered drastic population loss, falling by 55 percent from its peak of 178,320 in 1960. The city faces the difficulties of many Rust Belt cities, including unemployment, decaying infrastructure, and low literacy and educational attainment levels. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all houses in the city are unoccupied and/or abandoned.Hope Charter School, Philadelphia
Hope Charter School is a free, public high school available to all 9th through 12th grade students.
Hope Charter School is located in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Innovation Academy Charter School
Innovation Academy Charter School (IACS) is a small charter school in Tyngsborough, Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1996, under the name Chelmsford Public Charter School by a small group of parents from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. While initially a middle school serving only the town of Chelmsford, IACS has since expanded, establishing a high school and serving multiple towns within Massachusetts.Lemoore, California
Lemoore (formerly, La Tache and Lee Moore's) is a city in Kings County, California, United States. Lemoore is located 7.5 miles (12 km) west-southwest of Hanford, at an elevation of 230 feet (70 m). It is part of the Hanford-Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA Code 25260). The population was 24,531 at the 2010 Census. The California Department of Finance estimated that Lemoore's population was 25,892 on January 1, 2018.List of schools in Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is a large public school district consisting of primary and secondary schools within the city limits of Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois.MaST Community Charter School
Math, Science, and Technology (MaST) Community Charter School was founded by Karen DelGuercio in 1999. The school began in Northeast Philadelphia in what was once an old steel factory. At the end of the 2004 school year, the school was remodeled and two years later, expansion led to a new school building being constructed. In the last five years, the school has added library and media center, a fitness center, and a maker studio.
In 2014, the school was one of four Philadelphia public schools to beat the national average SAT score.Massachusetts Charter School Expansion Initiative
The Massachusetts Charter School Expansion Initiative was an unsuccessful initiative voted on in the Massachusetts general election held on November 8, 2016. It was one of four 2016 ballot measures put to public vote.Newark, New Jersey
Newark (, locally ) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey and the seat of Essex County. As one of the nation's major air, shipping, and rail hubs, the city had a population of 285,154 in 2017, making it the nation's 70th-most populous municipality, after being ranked 63rd in the nation in 2000.Settled in 1666 by Puritans from New Haven Colony, Newark is one of the oldest cities in the United States. Its location at the mouth of the Passaic River (where it flows into Newark Bay) has made the city's waterfront an integral part of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Today, Port Newark–Elizabeth is the primary container shipping terminal of the busiest seaport on the American East Coast. In addition, Newark Liberty International Airport was the first municipal commercial airport in the United States, and today is one of its busiest.Several leading companies have their headquarters in Newark, including Prudential, PSEG, Panasonic Corporation of North America, Audible.com, IDT Corporation, and Manischewitz. A number of important higher education institutions are also in the city, including the Newark campus of Rutgers University (which includes law and medical schools and the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies); the New Jersey Institute of Technology; and Seton Hall University's law school. The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey sits in the city as well. Local cultural venues include the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark Symphony Hall, the Prudential Center and the Newark Museum.
Newark is divided into five political wards (the East, West, South, North and Central wards) and contains neighborhoods ranging in character from bustling urban districts to quiet suburban enclaves. Newark's Branch Brook Park is the oldest county park in the United States and is home to the nation's largest collection of cherry blossom trees, numbering over 5,000.Norwich, Connecticut
Norwich, known as 'The Rose of New England', is a city in New London County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 40,493 at the 2010 United States Census. Three rivers, the Yantic, the Shetucket, and the Quinebaug, flow into the city and form its harbor, from which the Thames River flows south to Long Island Sound.Orange Unified School District
Orange Unified School District (OUSD) is a public school district headquartered in Orange, California.
Orange USD serves the cities of Orange and Villa Park, the unincorporated land of Silverado, and parts of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and an unpopulated area of Yorba Linda. Its student enrollment during the 2004-2005 school year was 31,600.Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
Prospect Hill Academy Charter School (PHA) is K-12 college preparatory public charter school located on three campuses in Somerville, Massachusetts and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school was founded in 1996.PHA has over 1,100 students from diverse racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. In 2013, 64% of the students came from low-income families as defined by federal guidelines and 86% were from minority backgrounds.After three consecutive silver medals, in 2012, Prospect Hill Academy earned a Gold Medal designation by U.S. News & World Report placing it among the top 2% of all American high schools.Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh (; RAH-lee) is the capital of the state of North Carolina and the seat of Wake County in the United States. Raleigh is the second-largest city in the state, after Charlotte. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees, which line the streets in the heart of the city. The city covers a land area of 142.8 square miles (370 km2). The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population as 464,758 as of July 1, 2017. It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. The city of Raleigh is named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in present-day Dare County.
Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University (NCSU) and is part of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) area, together with Durham (home of Duke University) and Chapel Hill (home of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). The "Triangle" nickname originated after the 1959 creation of the Research Triangle Park, located in Durham and Wake counties, among the three cities and their universities. The Research Triangle region encompasses the U.S. Census Bureau's Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which had an estimated population of 2,037,430 in 2013. The Raleigh metropolitan statistical area had an estimated population of 1,214,516 in 2013.
Most of Raleigh is located within Wake County, with a very small portion extending into Durham County. The towns of Cary, Morrisville, Garner, Clayton, Wake Forest, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, and Rolesville are some of Raleigh's primary nearby suburbs and satellite towns.
Raleigh is an early example in the United States of a planned city. Following the American Revolutionary War when the US gained independence, this was chosen as the site of the state capital in 1788 and incorporated in 1792 as such. The city was originally laid out in a grid pattern with the North Carolina State Capitol in Union Square at the center. During the American Civil War, the city was spared from any significant battle. It fell to the Union in the closing days of the war, and struggled with the economic hardships in the postwar period related to the reconstitution of labor markets, over-reliance on agriculture, and the social unrest of the Reconstruction Era. Following the establishment of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) in 1959, several tens of thousands of jobs were created in the fields of science and technology, and it became one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States by the early 21st century.San Diego Unified School District
San Diego Unified School District (also known as San Diego City Schools) is the school district and a land investment corporation based in San Diego, California, United States. It was founded in 1854. As of 2005 it represents over 200 institutions and has over 15,800 employees. The average teacher in the district makes around $67,000 a year, with a benefit package worth around $24,000 a year. The district includes 113 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 4 atypical schools, 10 alternative schools, 27 high schools and 25 charter schools.Success Academy Charter Schools
Success Academy Charter Schools, originally Harlem Success Academy, is a charter school operator in New York City. Eva Moskowitz, a former city council member for the Upper East Side, is its founder. According to the New York Post, Success Academy had 17,700 applicants for 3,288 available seats, which resulted in a wait list of more than 14,000 families for the 2018-2019 school year. It has 47 schools in the New York area and 17,000 students. Two documentary films, The Lottery and Waiting for "Superman", record the intense desire of parents to enroll their children in Success Academy and charter schools like Success Academy. The academy is also the subject of the eighth season of the podcast StartUp.William Penn Charter School
William Penn Charter School (commonly known as Penn Charter or simply PC) is an independent school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1689 at the urging of William Penn as the "Public Grammar School" and chartered in 1689 to be operated by the "Overseers of the public School, founded by Charter in the town & County of Philadelphia" in Pennsylvania. It is the oldest Quaker school in the world, the oldest elementary school in Pennsylvania, and the fifth oldest elementary school in the United States following The Collegiate School (1628), Boston Latin School (1635), Hartford Public High School (1638), and Roxbury Latin (1645).