Charter schools are public schools!
Public charter schools are intended to improve our nation’s public school system. Charter schools are public schools because, while they operate independently of the school district, they are:
tuition-free and open to every student who wishes to enroll
non-sectarian, and do not discriminate on any basis
publicly funded by local, state and federal tax dollars based on enrollment, like other public schools
held accountable to state and federal academic standards
Myth vs. Fact
Here is a list of frequently misconceived facts about charter schools like Horizon:
Myth: Charter schools cost the state more money than traditional public schools
Fact: Charter schools receive the same amount of money, sometimes even less than traditional district schools
Every traditional district school receives a specific amount of money to educate a student (called the “per pupil allocation”). That money is intended to support the cost of educating that student. If a student chooses to go to a charter school, that charter school would receive that student’s per pupil allocation. The effect on the district school is the same as if that student had moved out of the district or gone to a private school. The charter school receives exactly the same amount of money as the district school.
In most cases, charter schools receive LESS federal and state money than district public schools, for a variety of reasons. For instance, charter schools do not have the same access to local parcel taxes and bonds as traditional districts and often have to pay to rent facilities out of their operating funds. Charter schools have also been particularly hard hit by the state budget crisis because they are not able to access low-cost financing as school districts can to help address state deferrals.
Myth: Charter schools only accept top notch students and reject under-performing ones
Fact: Charters such as Horizon, must be open to all who want to attend
Unlike exclusive private schools, charter public schools do not recruit and select "the best" students. When enrollment requests exceed the number of seats, charter schools are required by law to hold a public lottery to determine who will attend. Because they are free and open to all, charter public schools do not engage in selective admissions policies.
Myth: Charter schools are not held accountable to state educational standards
Fact: Charter schools are held accountable to more!
Public charter schools are required to meet all state and federal education standards. In addition, they are judged on how well they meet student achievement goals established by their charter contracts. A quality public charter school must meet rigorous academic, fiscal and managerial standards.
Myth: Horizon schools are secretly funded by an organization linked to the Gulen Movement
Fact: Charter schools are funded with public dollars
When a student transfers from a traditional public school to a public charter school, the funding associated with that student will follow him or her to the public charter school. Public charter schools do not add any new costs to the state’s public education system. They simply represent a reallocation of resources from one school to another based upon the decisions of families across the state.
Since public charter schools are funded with public dollars, they are required by law to be held accountable for taxpayer dollars are spent through regular audits and ongoing reviews from their authorizing entities.
Myth: Charter schools do not provide special education services
Fact: Charter schools are open enrollment public schools and required to meet the needs of all students.
Like all public schools, charter schools understand their responsibility to serve all students, and charter schools are committed to serving students with exceptional needs. In fact, because charter schools are designed to have more flexibility than traditional public schools, they are uniquely situated to provide innovative, high-quality educational services to students with unique learning needs.
Myth: Charter schools run without any oversight
Fact: Charter schools must operate within the provisions of state and federal law.
They must abide by health, safety and civil rights laws, and cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex or national origin. Charter governance bodies are subject to various business regulations, such as ethical financial practices, and public body rules, such as open meeting laws. Charter schools also have oversight from their authorizers (usually the local school district, county office of education or State Board of Education). In fact, the very name charter refers to the “contract” that the school enters into with their authorizer. Authorizers review financial reports, have the authority to conduct audits, determine if the school is to be renewed at the end of the charter’s term (usually every five years) and can revoke a charter for certain reasons within charter law if the school is not meeting the terms of its charter.
resources: http://www.publiccharters.org/About-Charter-Schools/Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx, http://www.calcharters.org/fact_sheet_charter_myths_vs_reality.pdf, http://governor.alabama.gov/downloads/CharterSchools.pdf
Charter School Data
Comprehensive Data for all charter schools in the U.S.
Data for Concept Managed charter schools
Why do we need charter schools?
Millions of students across America are not getting the education they deserve. Some are forced to attend chronically under-performing public schools in their communities. Others struggle to fit their learning styles or personalities to outdated educational models that don’t meet their needs. In either case, these students are leaving school unprepared for the workforce or higher education, and limiting their long-term potential.
These children and their families deserve a better option, and public charter schools can provide that option for families who need it.
Charter schools are closing the achievement gap. They are raising the bar of what’s possible – and what should be expected – in public education.
Charter schools are shattering low expectations and breaking through long-standing barriers that have prevented large numbers of students from under-served communities from achieving educational success.
Charter school studies that use the best data and most sophisticated research techniques show charters outperforming comparable traditional public schools.
Charter schools are always public schools. They never charge tuition, and they are designed to boost student achievement. If a traditional public school is not addressing a student’s needs, charter schools offer parents another public school option. Increasingly, when given that option, parents are choosing to enroll their children in charter schools. In fact, the demand for charter schools is far outpacing the supply in most communities.
adapted from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools