Charter schools are independent public schools operated by non-profit organizations, referred to as governing boards or boards of directors. A charter school’s governing board is fully responsible for the decision making related to the charter school as well as the day-to-day operations of the charter school. Charter school governing boards may choose to contract with management companies/education service providers to operate charter schools for them. Such management companies may be for-profit or non-profit organizations.
Local school boards authorize charter schools to operate. A charter (contract) defines the requirements under which the charter school operates. Local schools boards are required to monitor charter schools and to hold charter school governing boards accountable for the fiscal and academic performance of their schools as well as compliance with the charter between the governing board and the local school boards.
Charter schools are not required to comply with the local school board’s policies, and these schools are exempt from many of the state statutes that traditional schools are required to follow. Charter schools must provide a curriculum that aligns with state standards, hire certified teachers, evaluate teachers according to statute, participate in the legislatively-mandated school accountability system, and comply with laws related to discrimination and health and safety and others as identified in 1002.33, Florida Statutes. Local school boards monitor compliance in these areas and report results of monitoring activities.
Charter schools are schools of choice, and parents interested in information about a charter school should contact the school or visit the school’s website. Each website is located below under Charter School Links. Parents whose students are enrolled in a charter school should contact the charter school administration or the charter school governing board with concerns about the charter school as local school boards do not manage charter schools or have the authority to direct the day-to-day decisions of charter schools. The LCS Charter School Office is a resource for parents that have a question about charter schools.