What a charter school really is

Dear Editor,

It has come to our attention that there are some misconceptions about a charter school. We wanted to take this opportunity to explain what a charter school is in the State of Florida.

A charter school is a public school that is approved and monitored by the school district in which it resides. Rather than being part of the school district, which dictates curriculum and standards in all district schools, charter schools operate autonomously through the charter contract with the school district. The school district is tasked with monitoring the charter school to ensure that all Department of Education rules pertaining to a charter school and the measures laid out in the contract are met. The school district is paid 5% of the funds that the charter school receives from the state for this monitoring.

Charter schools, like district public schools, do not charge tuition and cannot discriminate against students wishing to attend the school. The charter school has its own school board that governs the school. This charter board meets on a regular basis just like the district school board and is subject to the same Florida Sunshine Laws.

Charter schools must meet the same academic requirements as do the district schools. All testing and

graduation requirements for charter schools are the same as the school district. Charter schools must operate for the required minimum of 180 days as do the district schools. Charter schools are evaluated and assigned a school grade using the same standards and criteria as district public schools.

The operation of the charter school does not cost the school district. The school is responsible for all cost pertaining to the charter school. That includes: facility and maintenance, utilities, salaries, transportation costs, food service cost, and any other expense the school may incur. The school district does not pay for or contribute to any of these expenses.

The parents and citizens of the Brooker area want nothing more than to provide a quality education to their children locally.

Brooker Community School, Inc