Approximately two decades ago, only two programs under formal education were available: public and private. Those who had the means to invest in high-quality education would enlist in an exclusive and expensive private school, whereas those who had little to spend would take advantage of government-owned academic institutes or public schools.
The basic difference between these two is that private schools are privately owned and are usually profit institutes in which the facilities, labor, and the quality of learning provided are paid for from the pockets of its enrollees, while the funds used to run a public school is acquired from the citizens’ taxes. Many private schools are sex-exclusive and follow a curriculum designed by its organizers, whereas public schools are coed and follow a certain standardized curriculum. If you were a meagerly earning parent with little to spare for your kid’s education, public schools weren’t a bad choice at all.
The outset of charter schools in the US
It was only until the past two decades when the concept of charter schools was introduced in the United States. Charter schools are primarily state-funded, but also receive subsidization from outside sources other than the government. And while they do follow a standardized curriculum, they have the autonomy to add elective courses for their students. It’s sort of like a marriage between the conventional public and private school system, isn’t it?
Enrolling in a Charter School
As earlier mentioned, charter schools are public schools, hence, the education its students get is tuition-free. Persons with disabilities (PWD) may also be enrolled in such schools and have the right to be provided with special and individualized treatment relevant to their conditions.
There are generally no specific requirements for eligibility in a charter school, as long as there are still slots available for the chosen level or grade. In order to find out if there are available slots, the applicants must first contact their charter school of choice. Should there be a shortage of slots, a lottery must be done to determine who gets to register.
Are the teachers in charter schools licensed?
The basic requirement for teachers in charter schools is the completion of all NCLB requirements. States usually require 75% of the teachers in elementary to be certified, whereas only 50% of high school teachers in charter schools are required to have a certificate. Compared to other schools, this requirement is less strict.
Other charter schools in the US
To date, there are 10 states that don’t have the charter school law namely West Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Alabama, Maine, Kentucky, Montana, and Nebraska.
California has the greatest number of charter schools followed by Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Ohio.
Charter schools versus magnet schools
Many people confuse charter schools with magnet schools. A magnet school, just like charter schools, is offered to either primary or secondary level students and is under the public school program. It is, however, largely different because it is designed for students who have diverse ethic or racial background. These schools were built to minimize the incidence of racial discrimination among students in the United States. Magnet schools also have the freedom to adapt a central theme or focus in their approach which can be either or both social and/or academic.
About The Author
This article was written by Cedric Loiselle for Pathways Charter School. If you are interested in learning more about the different academic institutions offering quality education like San Diego Charter School, check out his articles for tips and advice.