As my husband and I created our wish list for our house hunt, one major must-have for me was good schools. Of course, I’m not the only one with this item in their wish list. The higher home prices in areas with good public schools are proof of this.
However, I’m only talking about traditional public schools. You also have the option of enrolling your kids in private schools, charter schools or even homeschooling. By doing this, you may be able to expand the areas you’ve been looking into and get more house for your buck.
It seems that, lately, I’ve seen an increase in the popularity of charter schools. But, how do you determine if a charter school is the right option for your child?
What are Charter Schools? How are Charter Schools Funded?
First, let me give you a short definition of charter school. A charter school is an independent public school that operates independently from the traditional public school system. The parents, teachers, community leaders, and those involved in the opening of the school, create a charter plan describing the school’s mission, principles, structure and performance measures. Then if the state approves the charter school’s plan, the state funds the charter on a per-pupil basis.
Advantages of Charter Schools
- They have the independence of using their own ways of teaching.
- They have greater accountability. If they don’t perform and keep families and the community happy, their enrollment numbers may go down and they could lose their charter status or simply close due to lack of students.
- They don’t have to follow government regulations – this is an advantage because they don’t have to deal with the bureaucracy of traditional schools.
- They may be able to attract more donations to support specific causes and programs.
Disadvantages of Charter Schools
- They may have strict admission requirements that may discourage certain students from applying.
- They require that parents cover transportation costs.
- They may have less-than-optimal facilities and resources. This is especially true for newly opened charter schools.
- They don’t have to follow government regulations – again, this one is both an advantage and disadvantage. It’s a disadvantage because some charter schools may avoid important standards, such as teacher certification.
Hopefully this information is helpful as you research school options for your kids, or future kids.
Do you have experience with charter schools? Tell us about it!