Why Charter Schools Are Important to Education
Charter schools are public schools, but can be a better option than traditional public schools for some students. By definition, a charter school is a publicly funded and privately run school under the charter of an educational authority. (2-4) A charter school is held to a different set of standards than most traditional public schools. This can often work towards their advantage because it allows them to try new and unique methods of educating children. And the education system could use some fresh ideas.
Charter schools are growing quickly in America. They’ve only been around for about twenty years, but they have already spread to forty one states. (4-1) The first was in Minnesota in was the first state to pass charter schools. Oklahoma first allowed charter schools in 1999. Throughout the nation, most states have about ten percent of their kids enrolled in charter schools. Oklahoma has only about one percent of its students in charter schools, just under seven thousand. There are currently over 6,000 charter schools in America, after the first one was founded twenty one years ago. Over two million kids are going to charter schools as of January, 2014. The chart below shows the growth of charter school enrollments nationwide from 2000 to 2013.
Charter schools are gaining more support every year. President Obama said: “These learning laboratories give educators the chance to try new models and methods. That can encourage excellence in the classroom and prepare more of our children for college and careers,” during his Presidential Proclamation of National Charter Schools Week. But this kind of education doesn’t have the same sort of support from everyone. There is negativity that is associated with charter schools. The fact that charter schools bring competition for funding causes some opposition to charter school from some people. A lot of those people don’t like
charter schools because when their students leave their school to enroll in a charter school, they lose funding that was going to them. It’s different than the student leaving their school district for another district. Because when a student enrolls in a charter school, the district he or she leaves loses it’s per pupil and levy money. If a student moved from one district to another district, the one being left would lose it’s per pupil money, but keeps its levy money. So a school does lose more of their budget if a student leaves them for a charter school. (1-3) Schools obviously don’t want their budget to be reduced. So a lot of the animosity comes from them losing money. Maybe if they would just do a better job with their students in the first place, a lot of their students wouldn’t want or need to leave to go to a charter school. That’s not to say that all students are leaving are the schools fault; sometimes it’s just what’s best for the family of the student. But maybe a lot of students enrolling in charter schools...