Charter Education on the Public Dollar

Apr 29 08:05 2011 Andrew Stratton Print This Article

In this article, you will find some of the differences between public schools and charters schools that receive public funding. Read on to learn more about public education.

There are two main types of primary and secondary education systems in the United States that receive public funding. Public schools are the most obvious systems that receive government funds and are subject to a strict set of rules,Guest Posting statutes, and regulations. Charter schools are another publicly funded system and are often founded by parents, teachers, activists, universities, and non-profit entities, but may be governed by a for-profit corporation. Unlike the public school system, charter schools are not subject to the same rules, statutes and regulations, and they often also receive private financing in the form of donations. While both types of education systems are found across the United States, the number of children in the public school system greatly exceeds the number of children in charter schools. 

However, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a network of charter schools sprang up to replace the public school system in the New Orleans area. As such, New Orleans is the only place in the country where more children attend charter schools than public schools. This has created a unique learning atmosphere and a unique financial infrastructure within the national education system. 

A charter is a document that details the school's mission statement, overall program outline, educational goals, population of students being taught, ways to assess student progress, and methods to determine the school's overall success. Once this contract has been approved, the charter school is held accountable to the State or district group that will help ensure they live up to the charter document's goals and guidelines. This State or district group may be a local school board, a State agency of educational standards, a university, or another entity. Many feel that being held accountable to a State or district group in this way causes the charter schools to have students achieve higher academic success, but the United States Department of Education disagrees. In practice, charter schools are not held to more rigorous standards than public schools. However, the number of public schools that have been forced to close due to poor academic performance is much higher than similar charter schools.

Similar to public schools, charter schools are autonomous systems that must be accountable to State and district educational standards. This enables the school to create a positive learning environment that caters to the needs of the students in that particular area, while meeting or exceeding learning standards. This is especially important in areas of the country with minority students or those with special needs. 

On average, it has been noted that charter schools receive less funding per pupil than their public school counterparts. However, many feel this figure is misleading because charter schools are not required to dedicate certain portions of that funding to different areas within the education system. As such, the amount of money may be more on a per-student basis than the original figures portray. Charter schools also receive funding from private foundations and individual donors. 

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Andrew Stratton
Andrew Stratton

Though there have been horror stories in the past related to public education New Orleans has a number of excellent charter school options for children. To learn more about the educational system within the region, please visit http://educatenow.net/

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