So a new charter school is being built right down the street from your house. Are you immediately applying to send your child to school? Many parents do this by believing in the idea that newer is better, that autonomous is better, that smaller classes are better. All of these things are true.
However, the whole concept of a charter school in Sacramento is based on the essential foundation of a school charter – or contract with the government – that defines the school's mission. If parents enroll in a charter school without understanding their charter, parents should rely on their child's education because the choice of uniform is not an option at all.
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A basic understanding of the purpose of charter schools will help parents understand why it is important to be informed. Charter schools provide parents with opportunity and choice within the public school system.
They are public schools that operate under the same exam requirements, are publicly funded, and have open and equal enrollment without tuition, as neighbourhood public schools. They do not fall under the district umbrella but are directly related to the state charter and function as a separate and unique institution.
The difference between charter schools and district schools is that each school has its own mission in the community it serves. This mission, which is their actual contract with the State Board of Education, is created even before a school can be established, is tailored to the needs of a particular student body or has a unique educational philosophy, approach, or curriculum that exists nowhere else.