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About Charter Schools


Charter public schools are an important part of Massachusetts public school system. With over 74 schools, charter public schools currently enroll over 40,000 students, preparing them for the future with the belief that all students deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Charter public schools are tuition-free and have enrollment processes that treat all students equally. Schools operate under five-year “charters” granted by the Commonwealth’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. These agreements allow charter public schools to operate independently from the local school district in order to have greater flexibility in how they approach key areas of school life, including: curriculum design, staffing, teacher leadership, professional development, and school culture.
Charter public schools are accountable to a range of stakeholders – education and public officials, teachers, families, and communities. They are managed by public boards of trustees and follow the same laws and rules as district public schools. They are overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which reviews and decides to renew their charters every five years. Charter public schools are often proposed and established by teachers, school leaders, parents, and other members of the community.
In Massachusetts, charter public schools strive to deliver on their commitment to every student by focusing on:
Teachers and Classrooms. Massachusetts charter public schools give a voice to teachers by providing them with the freedom, flexibility, and professional support to be creative in the classroom, inspiring a passion for learning in every child.
 The Unique Learning Needs of Children. Whether it’s a school focused on math and science, experiential learning, the arts, or a school with a longer school day, Massachusetts charter public schools can tailor their teaching to help kids who would otherwise fall through the gaps of a traditional approach to public education. The innovative methods of teaching developed in Massachusetts charter public schools help ensure students get the attention and tailored education they need.
Results on Behalf of Kids. Charter public schools in Massachusetts have a proven track record. Studies consistently show that charter public school students read, write, do math and science, and develop critical thinking skills faster and at higher levels than their peers across the state, and are part of the formula that has made Massachusetts the top-performing public school system in the country. 
 Equity. Every student deserves an equal shot at success, but not every school in Massachusetts serves students equally. Charter public schools are one way that Massachusetts can level the playing field for all children.