What is a charter school?

Charter schools are public schools that are not affiliated with a religious organization and operate under a charter, or a contract between a charter authorizer and operator. There is no cost for a student to attend a charter school, but if more students apply to attend it the school most hold a lottery to determine who may enroll.

Charter schools are typically governed by an independent board of directors and receive some flexibility from state regulations in return for stronger accountability. Many are established to serve various styles and needs of public schools students with innovative instructional models.

Charter schools are required by law to give state standardized assessments (like ISTEP and IREAD) and are graded using the same A-F school grading system as traditional public schools. By law, charter schools are subject to closure after four consecutive years as an F rated school.

Approximately 80 charter schools are currently serving more than 45,000 students across Indiana.

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