The Facts About...Supporting Charter Schools
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The Challenge: To promote and encourage more parental options through charter schools.

The Solution: Provide information to parents and educators on charter schools that are successful in improving academic achievement without the burden of unnecessary regulations.


No Child Left Behind recognizes the accomplishments of the charter school movement.

  • Charter schools have greater freedom from burdensome regulations in exchange for being held to high standards of accountability.
  • Consistent with the president's entire education plan, charter schools show that higher standards, parent and community involvement and greater freedom can result in higher achievement.
Graph: Increase in Charter School Laws Throughout the Nation, showing increase in state charter school laws from 1 in 1991 to over 35 in 2001

Charter schools are public schools which are largely free to innovate, and often provide more effective programs and choice to underserved groups of students.

  • The result is schools that are designed to meet students' unique interests (e.g., vocational training, arts) and special talents or needs. Many of these programs have clearly increased academic achievement.
  • Parents and teachers at charter schools develop programs for their students. In some, the community becomes the classroom, using museums and libraries to enrich the offerings.
  • A recent comprehensive national study of charter schools conducted by the RAND Corporation suggests that charter schools can have a positive impact on student achievement and increase levels of parental satisfaction.

Charter schools are an important alternative in districts where schools are having difficulty improving academic achievement.

  • Starting this fall, parents who have a child in a school that has been identified as needing improvement will have the opportunity to send their child to a new school.
  • Under No Child Left Behind, children who attend schools identified as needing improvement have the opportunity to enroll in charter schools located within their district.
  • These districts will be required to use federal funding to provide meaningful choices as well as to provide transportation to the new schools families choose.

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Last Modified: 02/17/2004