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.
Accountable for academic and non-academic outcomes
Sponsored by a school district, an institution of higher learning, a nonprofit organization, or a foundation
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.