A charter school is an independent public school that operates independently of the district board of education. In essence, a charter school is a one-school public school district.
A group of people — educators, parents, community leaders, educational entrepreneurs or others — formulize a charter plan describing the school’s guiding principles, governance structure, and applicable accountability measures.
If the state approves the charter, the state funds the charter on a per pupil basis. In most cases charter schools operate under a clear agreement between the state and the school: increased autonomy in exchange for increased accountability. Because they are schools of choice, they are held to the highest level of accountability — consumer demand.