About Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools describes charter schools as independent public schools allowed freedom to be more innovative, while being held accountable for improved student achievement. They foster a partnership between parents, teachers and students to create an environment in which parents can be more involved, teachers are given the freedom to innovate and students are provided the structure they need to learn, with all three held accountable for improved student achievement. Public charter schools are intended to improve our nation’s public school system. They 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
Charter School Benefits
- The educational program is uniquely tailored to each school and community it serves.
- All budget and personnel decisions are made at the school level.
- Charter schools have a multi-tiered accountability system that includes parents, authorizers, the state, and lenders.
- Charter schools thrive with an active community of parents.
- Teachers at charter schools are not unionized.
Charter School Facts
- There are more than 5,000 charter schools nationwide educating more than 1.6 million children.
- The Charter Schools Act was passed in 1999, in Colorado.
- There are more than 160 charter schools in Colorado educating more than 66,000 children (8.2 percent of total K-12 enrollment).
- There are approximately 40,000 students on charter school wait lists statewide.
- There are eight charter schools in Douglas County.