Weighing the Pros and Cons of Charter Schools


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What are the pros and cons of charter schools? Find out when and why you should considering sending your kids to a charter.

Are you concerned about your child’s education? Have you considered sending your child to a charter school? According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 3 million students were enrolled in charter schools in 2016.

There are many factors involved in school selection. Continue reading this article to learn about the pros and cons of charter schools.

What Is a Charter School?

Many people think that private and charter schools are the same thing. In fact, charter schools are public schools that operate independently. The charter school operates according to a contract with a charter school authorizer.

Charter School Authorities are often nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or universities. These schools may place an emphasis on college preparation, STEM curriculum, or the arts. Some even teach the full curriculum in two languages.

Pros and Cons of Charter Schools

When choosing the right school for your child, it’s important to consider the pros and cons. Some of the benefits of a charter school include:

Character Development

Many parents have concerns about how school impacts their child’s character development. A charter school can help develop positive character traits and leadership skills. They are often given opportunities to serve as team and project leaders.

More Individualized Atmosphere

The classroom size is often smaller than in traditional public schools. This means the teachers can spend more time with each student. This individual attention helps identify learning obstacles and find ways to succeed.

More Innovation

Teachers often have more leeway to use teaching strategies that meet students’ varied learning styles. They can employ experiential learning and other innovations.

Less “Teaching to the Test”

Charter schools are not held to the same government-mandated testing standards. This allows them to focus on student learning instead of working toward passing a standardized test.

Cons of charter schools include:

Inappropriate Spending of Public Dollars

There have been several cases where charter schools spent excessive money compared to traditional public schools. Large amounts of money have gone toward building a school that never opened or admitted students. Some individuals feel that financial corruption occurs too often in charter system schools.

Tax Advantages Invite Corruption

The US passed a tax credit in 1990 related to charter school contributions. Donors receive a 39% credit over a 7-year period. At the same time, the donor can collect interest on their contribution.

This means that the initial pool of money can double or triple over the 7-year period. Donors stand to receive significant financial gains.

Charter Schools Have Their Own Rules

In order to maintain their reputation, many charter schools may enroll high-performing students and avoid those who work at a lower level. Traditional public-school funding is often tied to student performance. These public schools risk losing funding when an imbalance in student levels occurs.

Do You Work on Being the Best Parent for Your Child?

Deciding about the best path for your child’s education is a big responsibility. This article has discussed the pros and cons of charter schools. Consider this information as you select a school.

Our site offers many articles about positive parenting. Do you ever wonder about the impact of popular trends? Is that Elf on a Shelf really a good idea?

Continue exploring our site for information to help you formulate your parenting strategies.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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