What is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school of choice. Charter schools are self-governing schools and have more flexibility in planning their program.  Having this type of flexibility allows charter schools to use innovative curricula, cultivate creative learning environments, and provide individualized attention for students. Charter high schools are subject to the same state mandated reporting and graduation requirements as other Rhode Island public schools.

A student must apply for admission to a charter school. Any student in the district served by the charter school may apply for admission to the school. Admission is by lottery if there are more applications than spots available. The purpose of admission by lottery is to ensure that enrollment is non-discriminatory.

As with traditional public schools, charter schools are publicly funded. Typically, public funds do not cover the entire cost of operating the school and many charter schools rely on additional funding from grants and donations.


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