an autonomous public school created by a contract between a sponsor, as a local school district or corporation, and an organizer, as a group of teachers or a community group, often with a curriculum or focus that is not traditional.

an independently run but tax-supported K-12 public school created with a different educational philosophy and curriculum than other schools in the area

Charter schools are often founded as magnet schools or for special educational needs.
Word Origin


older uses refer to schools in Ireland begun 1733 by the Charter Society to provide Protestant education to poor Catholic children. Modern use in U.S. began c.1988, as an alternative to state-run public education.


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