What Are Charter Schools?

  • Charter schools are public schools of choice that serve all students;
  • Charter schools have open enrollment, are tuition-free, and facilitate public lotteries for admission;
  • Charter schools are created and managed by local educators, parents, and community leaders;
  • They operate independently from the traditional district governance structure, but are held accountable through local and state oversight of operations and academic outcomes;
  • Charter schools are authorized for five years, at which time they are renewed for continued operation or shut down;
  • California approved the Charter Schools Act in 1992, the second state in the nation behind Minnesota;
  • For over 20 years, California's charter schools have been reinventing public education and are viewed as a common sense option for students and families.
BY THE NUMBERS (Placer County) 
  • California has the highest number of charter schools of any state in the country with 1,184 schools operating throughout the state;
  • Approximately 550,000 students are enrolled in California public charter schools, representing 9% of the 6.2 million students attending public schools in California;
  • An estimated 158,000 students are on waiting lists to attend charter schools in California;
  • Placer County has 22 charter schools.  Total student enrollment in Placer County in 2014-15 was 70,440.  9,506 of these students were enrolled in charter schools;
  • Placer County has a unique mix of independent and dependent charter schools.