What is a Charter School? Everything You Need to Know


Over the years as a California resident, you may have heard the term California charter schools floating around the education world. Charter schools have sprung up in popularity among communities around the country, especially in west coast states like California. California charter schools are some of the best in the country, but many parents are confused about the difference between charter, private and public schools. 

There are some specific things that separate the institutions, some subtle and some more obvious. For parents or educators unsure about the differences, we put together a brief guide to help explain the major defining factors of a charter school. This should be enough to demystify these institutions and provide clarity for parents interested in California charter schools. 

Defining a Charter School 

Charter schools are essentially an alternative to public school options. They are tuition free, which makes them attractive for a wide range of potential families. The important detail about charter schools is that they are independently run from the state. They still have to meet rigorous curriculum requirements, but they offer a wider range of flexibility to develop learning methods on their own accord. Charter schools have a great deal more freedom and flexibility than public schools which are often known for their red tape and complicated bureaucracy. These schools are often operated by groups of educators, parents and public figures. 

How Are They Funded? 

In most cases, charter schools are funded under the same guidelines and principles that public schools are. Funding is enrollment based, so that means for every student transferring from a public school or enrolling in a charter school earns more money for that school. That’s the situation in California, but these guidelines can differ drastically from state to state. And while charter schools do receive public funding, they also rely on private funding. In some cases this can come from parents and community members or from fundraising by the administration.

Difference From Public Schools 

This begs the question: how are they actually different from public schools? This comes down to the organizations that oversee the operations and curricular practices of the school. With public schools, educators, principals and administrators are answering to massive districts. Charter schools essentially create their own districts within the community. This is what allows such drastic differences between the curriculum flexibility in public vs. charter. 

Benefits of Choosing a Charter 

California charter schools are becoming some of the strongest schools in the state offering much more in the way of arts, sciences, and extracurricular opportunities for students. Because charter schools have more flexibility in the teachers they hire, the educational framework they set and the classes they offer, students will benefit from having access to more resources and more carefully thought out learning plans for individual students. Without the hand of big districts, students stand to receive more individual attention and get what they need from their school. 

Charter schools, contrary to popular belief, undergo much more scrutiny than public schools do. This is the trade off for having more flexibility to implement alternative learning frameworks; there must be a higher sense of accountability among faculty and staff to ensure goals are being met and values are being reflected to the students. 

Different State Laws 

As stated above, different states have different ways of regulating and holding accountability to charter schools. This can affect the way they receive funding, the curriculum design and the faculty they hire to teach and work at their school. And some states don’t allow charter schools at all. While public schools and charter schools fight for some of the public funding, they are an answer to a series of systemic problems in public schools. A big one being a lack of personal learning options for students who may need alternative pathways or alternative frameworks to learn at their higher capacity. Most states do allow charter schools, with roughly 45 including the District of Columbia, but still a handful that do not. 


In essence, California charter schools are public schools. They are just run by independent organizations made of educators, parents and community members rather than massive school districts overseeing hundreds of schools. Charter schools still have Superintendents, but these representatives are elected by and serve the community directly. Because they are independently run, they are often held to higher regulatory standards to receive state funding. This is the trade off for more flexible learning frameworks and ultimately offers more security among parents whose students attend charter schools. There are more direct channels of communication to staff and teachers, something that many parents appreciate. Their specific funding can vary from state to state, but all are publicly funded, tuition free options for students to receive quality education in their community. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
uk best essays review
1 month ago

A charter school is a public school that is run by nonprofit organizations, not by the state or local government. Charter schools are funded through state and local grants, but can also receive funds from private sources. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools have more flexibility in their curriculum and hiring practices.

1 month ago

A charter school is a public school that operates under a contract with a local or state government and is authorized to operate independent of the local school district. Go to Disinfect VR Headset for best VR headset. In addition, it’s often exempt from various regulations that apply to traditional public schools, including those related to teacher certification, curriculum and disciplinary measures. The idea behind charter schools is that they’re more flexible than traditional schools and can be more responsive to parents’ needs.

27 days ago

That is essentially the same school, the same problems and tasks that you will receive every day. The whole problem comes down only to the fact that your parents will pay more money for it, but you will also cheat with assignments on the sites https://domyessay.me/do-my-assignment/ to avoid problems 🙂

Adam Dever
Adam Dever
19 days ago

I need to compose an exposition yet my paper composing abilities are low. In any case, my companion is an article author, he recommended to me the https://hackernoon.com/7-best-programming-assignment-help-sites. He expresses that with the assistance of this site he is a decent exposition essayist since this site gives the best deceives and information. Subsequent to standing by listening to their recommendation I will utilize this site and ideally one day I will compose a decent paper.

15 days ago

A charter school is a public school that is operated by a non-profit organization or an educational institution, and that is granted the authority to operate independently from its local school district. You should try this opticians nassau county to visit best countries. Charter schools are usually publicly funded, but they can also be privately funded. Charter schools are a type of public school that are authorized by state law to operate with greater flexibility than traditional public schools.