Mississippi Center for Public Policy

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Answers: A Charter School Q&A Series

October 12, 2012

MCPP Policy Snapshot

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Answering your questions about charter schools in Mississippi -- Submit a Question

Do students and teachers like charter schools?


Who teaches at charter schools?

Teachers choose to teach at charter schools, and charter school principals decide who to hire. The district does not assign teachers to work there. Schools must inform parents concerning the qualifications of the teachers, just like other public schools.

Because charter school teachers are often heavily involved in the key decisions regarding curriculum, discipline, and other critical matters, and because of the disciplined and supportive environment in most charter schools, teachers who are considering leaving the profession due to the lack of discipline or leadership at their traditional public school will often find renewed enthusiasm for teaching if they have an opportunity to teach at a charter school. Similarly, retired teachers or others who have left might choose to return to the profession to teach at a charter school.


How do we know charter schools work?

The first charter school in the nation began operating in 1992; now there are more than 5,600 charter schools in 40 states, with 521 new charter schools opening in 2011-2012. A review of research-based studies on the effectiveness of charter schools found that charter schools have been innovative, accountable, successful, created opportunities for the children who attend them, and had a positive "ripple" effect on traditional public schools within their jurisdiction. Surveys of parents whose children attend charter schools have consistently shown very high satisfaction levels.

Charter schools have worked across America, but they've been especially effective in turning around New Orleans' public school system:


Do charter schools drain money from public schools?

Charter schools are public schools; they do not take money away from public education. Charter school students would receive the same funding they would receive in a public school district. In both cases, the level of per-pupil funding would be the same. Charter schools merely allow a nonprofit entity to operate a public school.

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