Charter School Facts

Charter schools are K-12 public schools that provide choice for parents and students within the public school system. Charter schools are:

Operated independently from the school district in which they are located

Incorporated as a 501©(3) nonprofit organization or as a teacher cooperative

Staffed by teachers who have appropriate state licensure

Funded   primarily by state general education revenue with start-up funding in   the first three years provided by the federal government

Located in leased facilities, funded in large measure by lease aid, a state program that provides per pupil funding to compensate for the fact that charter schools cannot own property, levy taxes, or issue bonds

Open to all who apply, except if the school is over-subscribed, in which case a lottery is held for all of the students who applied before the deadline. Once a student is enrolled, siblings are given preference in admission.

Free of charge

Accountable for academic and non-academic outcomes

Sponsored by a school district, an institution of higher learning, a nonprofit organization, or a foundation

Reviewed every three years by the sponsor to determine whether the charter will be renewed

Governed by a board of directors made up of parents, teachers, and community members elected by the school community 2007 - 2008 Minnesota Statistics

Number of Operating Charter Schools: 164

Number of Enrolled Students: 48,200

Year of Charter School Law: In 1991, Minnesota was the first state to pass charter school legislation. The first charter school in the United States, City Academy, opened in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1992 and is still in operation today.