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Ekstrom Library

Government Resources: Education: Charter Schools

What is a Charter School?

A public charter school is a publicly funded school that is typically governed by a group or organization under a legislative contract or charter with the state; the charter exempts the school from selected state or local rules and regulations. In return for funding and autonomy, the charter school must meet the accountability standards articulated in its charter. A school's charter is reviewed periodically (typically every 3 to 5 years) and can be revoked if guidelines on curriculum and management are not followed or if the standards are not met (U.S. Department of Education 2000). As of November 2010, charter schools operated in 40 states and the District of Columbia. In the following states, a charter school law has not been passed: Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. (Fast Facts, National Center for Education Statistics)


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