Understanding Charters


Charter schools:

- Are public schools of choice
- Serve ALL student populations
- Are tuition-free
- Have more flexibility and greater accountability

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CCSA has compiled answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding charter schools and what they mean for students, educators, schools and communities. The answers to these FAQs provide an introductory overview of key issues.


Charter schools are schools of choice: parents select the school their child attends. Families and community members are welcomed in charter schools and are treated as partners in their child’s education.

Parents praise charter schools: a recent study found that the overwhelming majority of parents give their child’s charter school an “A.”


Charter schools are held accountable for student achievement by parents, authorizers, and the state. This accountability leads quality schools and high achievement; research shows charter schools do a better job increasing student achievement than traditional public schools.

Charter schools are performing particularly well in areas in California known to have struggling public schools.


By working in an environment that values innovation, charter school teachers and staff have the opportunity to have real impact on students and colleagues. Charter schools provide teachers with the freedom and flexibility to innovate to best meet their students� needs. Staff experience less bureaucracy, greater autonomy, and have the support of parents who help to discover fresh approaches to their student�s education. And members of the community can be involved, too, by volunteering or serving on a charter school�s governing board.


Charter schools across the state are positively impacting students, resulting in improved achievement. These are their stories.