Charter schools are public schools. They are free, do not charge tuition, and are open to any student living in Washington state. If more students want to attend a specific charter school than there are spaces available, enrollment is determined by a random lottery. They are run by nonprofit organizations and they cannot be run by religious, sectarian, or private, for-profit companies. They are funded just like other public schools, based on student enrollment, but do not receive local levy funds or facilities assistance from the state. Students at charter schools receive the same state and federal funding as those in traditional public schools.
Charter schools are guided by a specific mission or focus and are a great option for families who believe in the same type of education and philosophy the school provides.
Charter schools, like all public schools, must follow Washington state and federal health, safety, civil rights, and anti-discrimination laws, as well as Washington state K-12 education statutes. Charter schools encourage parental involvement and provide a range of opportunities, from volunteering in the classroom, committing to at-home reading time, attending functions, or serving on a school council.