What is a Charter?
A charter school is an elementary or secondary school in the United States that receives public money but has been freed from some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools. In exchange, charter schools are then expected to be accountable for producing certain academic results which are set forth in each school's charter.
Charter schools are established and then attended by choice. While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition. Where enrollment in a charter school is over subscribed, admission is frequently allocated by lottery-based admissions.
Some charter schools provide a curriculum that specializes in a certain field—e.g. arts, mathematics, etc. Others attempt to provide a better and more efficient general education than nearby public schools.
Some charter schools, such as ARCS, are founded by teachers and parents who feel restricted by traditional public schools, and wish to create an educational environment that adheres to their own values and standards.