Frequently Asked Questions
Student Centered, Community Focused, Impact Driven
ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS
What is a charter school?
A charter school is an independently run public school granted greater flexibility in its operations, in return for greater accountability for performance.
The “charter” establishing each school is a performance contract detailing the school’s mission, program, students served, performance goals, and methods of assessment.
What is the difference between charter schools and other public schools?
Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children.
They operate with freedom from some of the regulations that are imposed upon district schools.
Charter schools are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters.
They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability.
If a charter school does not meet performance goals, it may be closed.
Are charter schools all the same?
No. Charter schools can vary a great deal in their design and in their results.
Legacy Prep is based on the principles and practices that have proven successful in producing significant academic gains at high-performing urban charter public schools across the country, while ensuring we’re innovative and reimaging school.
Who authorizes charter schools?
This varies from state to state, depending on the state’s charter law.
In Alabama, there are two options: local boards of education or Alabama Public Charter School Commission.
Who can start a charter school?
Parents, community leaders, social entrepreneurs, businesses, teachers, school districts, and municipalities can submit a charter school proposal to their state’s charter authorizing entity.
Who attends charter schools? Whom do they serve?
Nationwide, students in charter schools have similar demographic characteristics to students in the local public schools.
In some states, charter schools serve significantly higher percentages of minority or low-income students than the traditional public schools.
Charter schools accept students by open enrollment and/or random, public lottery.
How are charter schools funded?
As public schools, charter schools are tuition-free. They are funded according to enrollment levels and receive public funds on a per pupil basis.
In some states, such as Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, and New Jersey, they receive less than 100% of the funds allocated to their traditional counterparts for school operations. In other states, such as California, additional funds or loans are made available to them. In most states, charters do not receive capital funds to support facility expenses.
Charter schools are entitled to federal categorical funding for which their students are eligible, such as Title I and Special Education monies. Federal legislation provides grants to help charters to manage start-up costs.