What Is a Charter School?

Charter schools are public, nonsectarian schools created through a contract or “charter” between the operators and the sponsoring school board. Charter schools are about educational choices, school-site accountability, autonomy, innovation, and revitalizing public education from the ground up.

The Wisconsin State Charter Law gives charter schools freedom from many traditional state mandates and regulations. In return for this freedom, charter schools are held accountable for student performance, financial matters, and effective school operation. Charter schools and their sponsors create an accountability plan as part of the charter contract.

Charter School Facts:

  • Charter schools are tuition-free and attendance is voluntary.
  • They have the flexibility to design and deliver innovative curriculum in non-traditional ways in order to meet the needs of participating students.
  • They may not discriminate in admissions, programs, or activities.
  • Charter students take state tests required of other public school students.
  • Teachers are certified and licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.



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