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Charter schools are just in their beginning stages in American education. As public schools, they are an example of free enterprise with a huge range of educational choices for their students.

They were first formed in 1992 in response to the demands of parents and educators. They are independent public schools designed, operated and empowered by parents, educators, and community members. They deliver programs tailored to the community.

Some charter settings are centered around specialized academic themes such as science or music. Arizona hosts several back-to-basics schools. Their new approach, using the “basics” method has increased their enrollment to the point that waiting lists average over a hundred potential students each year. Other charter schools stress class size, teacher certification or convenience of location.

These schools are responsive to their students needs, creating highly child-centered education. There are 1700 charter schools nationwide. They serve over 350,000 students in 31 states. The schools are usually created by educators, parents or community leaders. Funding comes from the same sources as every public school. Charter schools receive district and state funds according to their enrollment numbers.

Charter school educators are absolutely passionate about their students and their new school structure. Many believe that these new schools are challenging each other and also older, established teaching methods to become more student-centered. And indeed, if the school fails to deliver, they are closed. So school staff is highly motivated to provide a superior environment for learning.

To find a charter school near your home, visit the education website for your state. Their directory will give you information on the types of schools in your area and list addresses and phone numbers for your inquiries.