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Charter FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Charter System?

A: A charter system is a local school system that is operating under the terms of a contract between the local Board of Education and the State Board of Education as provided by the Charter Systems Act. A Charter System provides the opportunity for teachers, administrators, parents, and school boards to have greater flexibility to determine the educational needs of students within their district and requires a certain degree of school level governance in the system. To become a charter system, the local school system must submit a charter school petition to the Department of Education after such petition has been approved by the local board. As a charter system all schools within the system are charter schools. Therefore, the following questions that discuss a single charter school will apply to all schools in a charter system.

Q: What is a charter petition?

A: A charter petition includes:

  • An education plan or school improvement plan
  • A governance plan
  • A business plan
  • School organization plan
  • Waivers needed to implement proposed plans

Q: What is the difference between a charter school system and a traditional public school system? 

A: A traditional public school system is organized according to federal laws, state school laws, State Board of Education rules, and local Board of Education policies. A charter school system is organized according to federal laws, applicable state school laws and SBOE rules that cannot be waived, and the terms of the charter contract.