There are many different myths, hypotheses and rumors about charter schools. Some of them are true, while others are only fantasies of visitors to numerous online forums. What facts can you believe? Let’s figure it out! We collected 11 most interesting myths about charter schools in this article!
Charter Schools: Myths and Truths
1. Charter schools are commercial and religious
Charter schools are independently managed public schools. These schools were established to provide children with more opportunities for academic success. Charter schools are non-profit and non-religious educational institutions authorized by the local Department of Education. Each charter school has its own Board of Trustees and administration and operates as an independent educational institution, independent of the local school district. Charter schools operate independently of many local and state regulations that are mandatory in traditional public schools. Charter schools are exempt from many educational mandates, with the exception of those dealing with non-discrimination, health, safety, and accountability. Charter schools have their own teachers; charter schools have their own programs, choose their own textbooks and teaching aids, determine the duration of the school day and school year, make decisions about extra classes, extracurricular activities and much more.
2. Charter schools depend on each other
Since charter schools operate independently of the school district and independently from each other, with some exceptions. You should contact the charter school directly.
3. I can transfer my child from one charter school to another
You cannot make such a transfer. Each charter school belongs to a local educational agency (LEA). Each school is independent of other charter schools, with the exception of those schools that are operated by one agency.
4. Charter schools are not responsible for the actions of their employees.
As an independent, state-funded educational institution, each charter school has its own Board of Trustees. In accordance with the law on charter schools, the school is a non-profit, non-sectarian corporation and “bears full responsibility for each and every damage caused by the activities of the charter school.”
5. The public cannot attend monthly meetings organized by the Charter School’s Board of Trustees
The goal of many charter schools is to get closer to their parents and the community they serve, so they invite the community to cooperate. Many charter schools provide parents and the public with the opportunity to participate in school work. At the same time, the school cannot impose requirements on parents, which can be considered as tuition fees or payment for basic educational services. If you have questions regarding the policy of the charter school in which your child is studying, you need to address them directly.
6. District teachers do not work at a charter school
School District teachers can take vacations to work in a charter school. These teachers must comply with the conditions for the selection of teachers in a charter school before they start working there.
7. Students of charter schools cannot participate in extracurricular activities of urban schools
You will have the opportunity to do sports in the District School District. The Charter Schools Act allows pupils in charter schools to participate in extracurricular activities in urban schools. You need to try the team in which you want to play and learn the conditions of participation (training schedule, trips to games, etc.). County rules will determine whether you can play on the team of the school closest to your charter, or on the team of your district school. Participation in extracurricular activities may be charged.
8. Charter schools do not organize a graduation party
Graduation parties may be organized. Charter schools have their own calendar, academic programs and student activities. This depends on a school where you are studying.
9. Pupils of charter schools do not have the opportunity to sing in the city choir or play in the city orchestra
Yes, they can to do this if they pass the audition. We repeat once again, students at charter schools have the right to take part in district extracurricular activities.
10. I will not be able to go to high school with special conditions of admission if studied in a secondary charter school
You will be able to do this if you meet the admission requirements. We strongly advise students in grades 7 and 8 of charter schools to attend the High School EXPO. Chancellors of charter schools receive numerous high school booklets and application forms. Students at charter schools are free to apply to any public school: a charter school, a county school or a charter cyber school (approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education).
11. Studying at a charter school guarantees college entrance
Studying at a charter school does not guarantee admission to college. Each charter school and each student will be judged on various factors: academic performance, SAT scores, extra-curricular work, quality of writing, and persuasive recommendations received from teachers and school staff.