Momentum is growing among military families to create charter schools in areas of the country with low performing schools. Rather than rejecting the current school system, military parents argue that it offers another choice, one with a consistent educational philosophy they can count on and understand no matter where they're assigned.
In light of this growing discussion, it is important for military families to understand what charter schools are and how they operate. Charter schools are elementary or secondary schools created by communities through an agreement with a local school district. They receive public money and are run by locally elected school boards. They have the authority to set up their own management practices, and design their curriculum and programs.
While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition. When space at a charter school is limited, admission is frequently allocated by lottery-based admissions. Some charter schools offer a curriculum that specializes in a certain field of study, while others attempt to provide a higher standard of general education than nearby public schools.
Some charter schools are founded by teachers, parents, or activists who feel restricted by traditional public schools. State-run charter schools, not affiliated with local school districts, are often established by non-profit groups, universities, or government entities. Some school districts even permit corporations to open chains of for-profit charter schools.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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