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: 143

Number of Enrolled Students: 28,034

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.

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