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Charter schools are publicly funded, tuition-free schools of choice that have greater autonomy than traditional public schools. In exchange for this increased autonomy, charter schools are held accountable for improving student achievement and meeting other provisions of their charters. Charter schools are most often new schools that were not in existence before the charter was granted; it is also common for a traditional public or private school to convert to charter school status. This entry describes the relatively recent origin of charter schools and their operational characteristics and offers a brief discussion of their record so far.

Origin and Operation

There are significant variations in charter schools across states, because the state laws that dictate most aspects of charter schools, including funding, student and staff recruitment, ...

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