What is a Charter School?

Charter School Benefits

  • The educational program is uniquely tailored to each school and community it serves.
  • All budget and personnel decisions are made at the school level.
  • Charter schools have a multi-tiered accountability system that includes parents, authorizers, the state, and lenders.
  • Charter schools thrive with an active community of parents.
  • Teachers at charter schools are not unionized.

Charter School Facts

  • There are more than 6,600 charter schools nationwide educating more than 2.6 million children.
  • The Colorado Charter Schools Act was passed in 1999.
  • There are more than 226 charter schools in Colorado educating more than 108,000 children (more than 12 percent of total K-12 enrollment).
  • There are approximately 40,000 students on charter school wait lists statewide.
  • There are 15 charter schools in Douglas County.
  • While charters are not required to hire licensed teachers, BFA is proud that all of our teachers are fully licensed.

Charter School Myths

MYTH: Charter schools “drain money from district public schools

The money that follows the students who choose to attend charter schools remains in the public education system. In Douglas County, a portion of the per pupil revenue passed along to a charter school remains with the school district.

MYTH: Charter school teachers must be licensed.

Charter schools are required to comply with all other NCLB requirements regarding “Highly Qualified Teachers.” This provides charter schools the freedom to hire the most qualified and committed teachers who come from diverse professional backgrounds and are passionate about teaching.

MYTH: Charter schools accept only the “cream of the crop” and reject under performing students.

 Charter schools are open to all and cannot require entrance exams. When enrollment requests exceed the number of seats available, most charter schools hold a public lottery to determine who will attend (others have first come/first served waiting lists).

MYTH: Charter schools endanger the public school system.

 The entire public school system is strengthened when choices such as charter schools are available to students and families. When families are empowered to make decisions about their child’s education, ownership, parental involvement and accountability are increased. Having a choice is beneficial for all.

MYTH: Charter schools are not open to all students.

Charter schools serve low income, racial and ethnic minorities, and students with disabilities or other special needs.