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What is a charter school?

Charter schools are tuition-free, independently-operated public schools governed by public citizens which make up the board of directors. Charter schools have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs and are given the flexibility to articulate a distinct mission, design a curriculum around that mission and hire faculty who can best deliver it.

All charter schools operate under a contract with a charter school authorizer – usually a nonprofit organization, government agency, or university – that holds them accountable to the high standards outlined in their “charter.” Our authorizer is Central Michigan University.

All students are welcome to apply to a charter school, and if the number of applicants exceeds the number of available spots, students are chosen by lottery.

Every single charter school in the state of Michigan is a tuition-free, public entity with nonprofit status. A charter school is required to adhere to Michigan statutes and rules for special education, as well as the federal requirement. Charter schools are also widely known as Public School Academies.

Source: National Charter School Alliance