What is A Charter School?

A Charter School is a school that is:

  • Independent, accountable, and tuition free
  • Governed by volunteer, non-compensated board of directors
  • Adopting an innovative curriculum
  • Funded by tax dollars and open to any Indiana child

Why Send Your Child To A Charter School?

“Charters are here to stay. They are a working reminder of accountability, local control, proven teaching methods, information and options for parents that can transform our schools.” -Rod Paige, US Secretary of Education


The national charter school movement began in 1992 when the first charter school legislation was passed. Indiana charter school legislation was signed into law by Governor Frank O’Bannon in May of 2001. By 2003, there were 40 states with charter school legislation. There are almost 3,000 charter schools nationwide and 20 charter schools currently operating in Indiana.

Types of Charter Schools

There are two types of charter schools: conversion and non-conversion. A conversion charter school is a school already in existence that becomes a charter school. In a conversion charter school, the sponsoring authority is the local school board. A non-conversion charter school is a new start up school. In Indiana there are two sponsoring authorities: the Mayor of Indianapolis and Ball State University.

How Are Charter Schools Different than Traditional Schools?

Charter schools differ from traditional public schools in three ways:

  • Accountability – If a charter school fails, it will be closed.
  • Choice – A charter school is a choice in public education for individuals interested in creating or accessing unique educational opportunities.
  • Autonomy – Charter schools are free from traditional bureaucracy allowing time and resources to focus on the student’s needs.