Charter schools are nonsectarian public schools of choice. The "charter" establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success. Charter schools are accountable to their sponsor-- usually a state or local school board to produce positive academic results and adhere to the charter contract. They are accountable for both academic results and fiscal practices to the State of Texas and the charter holder.
The intention of most charter school legislation is to:
- Increase opportunities for learning and access to quality education for all students
- Create choice for parents and students within the public school system
- Provide a system of accountability for results in public education
Parents and teachers choose charter schools primarily for educational reasons--high academic standards, small class size, innovative approaches, or educational philosophies in line with their own.