Page ContentWhat is a Charter School? Charter schools are public schools operating under a performance contract or “charter.” The charter allows the school to operate under defined rules and regulations. As part of the contract between the charter school and the sponsor (the school board), charter schools are held strictly accountable for academic and financial results. Charter schools can also apply to be Virtual Charter Schools or Replications of High Performing Charter Schools that are already in existence. What is the purpose of a Charter School? Charter schools are independent public schools, which are fiscally and academically accountable to the sponsoring school system, but exempt from district and most state statutes. The schools also have control over 95% of the student funds generated through student enrollments. This freedom is intended to allow charter schools to be more innovative, demonstrate better student performance, and make the local school the agent of change for the students the school serves. Types of Charter Schools: Start Up Charter Schools- Start up charter schools are educational institutions that did not exist prior to being granted charter school status. These brand new schools are often started by parents, community members, business partners, etc. These schools may offer a specialized curriculum or serve a specific student population such as at-risk students or special needs students. Conversion Charter Schools- A conversion charter school is an existing public school that converts to charter school status. This process requires agreement from the teachers and parents of the charter school, the submittal and approval of a charter application by the sponsor, and the negotiation of a charter contract. Final approval of a charter contract is voted on by the school board after a public hearing. The timelines and information provided on this webpage are subject to change at any time.