Key Elements of Charter School Laws

By Aaron Rice
March 27, 2012

Let's get a few things straight about charter schools. First of all, there is no such thing as a private charter school. Charter schools are, by definition, public schools. They cannot charge tuition, they administer the same tests and are rated under the same system as regular public schools, and they must accept all students who apply, unless there's not enough room, in which case they draw names, giving all students an equal chance.

There will not be a charter school on every corner. In fact, there won't be any charter schools where there is no demand for them. They are intended to serve students whose academic needs are not being met in their current school.

Good charter school laws have three key elements: choice, freedom, and accountability. Choice for parents, freedom for the schools to reach their goals in creative ways, and accountability to parents and taxpayers for the results.

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