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charter school

an autonomous public school created by a contract between a sponsor, as a local school district or corporation, and an organizer, as a group of teachers or a community group, often with a curriculum or focus that is not traditional. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for charter school
  • My kids were fortunate, they found themselves in an amazing charter school that fosters them creatively as well as intellectually.
  • He announced grant money for a new charter school and a fire house.
  • charter school says it's private, though it gets millions.
Contemporary definitions for charter school

an independently run but tax-supported K-12 public school created with a different educational philosophy and curriculum than other schools in the area


Charter schools are often founded as magnet schools or for special educational needs.

Word Origin

1991-96's 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for charter school

older uses refer to schools in Ireland begun 1733 by the Charter Society to provide Protestant education to poor Catholic children. Modern use in U.S. began c.1988, as an alternative to state-run public education.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for charter school

By 2003 more than 684,000 U.S. students attended charter schools-publicly funded schools that pledged better academic results and were unencumbered by many of the regulations governing ordinary public schools. The aim of the nearly 2,700 charter schools in the U.S. was to furnish educators with the freedom to create novel ways of organizing teaching in an effort to yield better student performance and greater parent satisfaction than that typically produced by regular public schools. Operators of charter schools were granted such freedom by committing themselves-in the form of a written charter-to a variety of conditions that, they predicted, would produce superior learning outcomes. The conditions agreed with those identified in charter-school legislation passed by state or local lawmakers.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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