Charter Schools

In states with well-crafted charter legislation, charter schools are autonomous public schools in which enrollment is voluntary. Because they are schools of choice, charters generally tend to be more competitive than their conventional public school counterparts. Although charter laws differ among states, most charter schools operate on the per-pupil funds passed through to them by the district. Given control over their own budgets, charter schools generally act under incentives to spend their dollars in ways that will attract students to their schools. Charter schools serving students with disabilities operate under the same special-education funding policies as public schools, so they generally have no particular financial advantage in educating students with disabilities, although their autonomy may enable them to better serve students given the same funding levels.