Blog | June 6, 2023

4 Facts About Charter Schools

Misconceptions about public charter schools have abounded since they were first proposed a few decades ago. Many of these misconceptions persist to this day. How people perceive charter schools and what the charter school facts are don’t always match up. Charter schools are public, tuition-free, and open to all families. 

Learn more facts about public charter schools by visiting our comprehensive webpage detailing Indianapolis charter schools.

Charter School Facts to Know

Sorting through the myths and facts about charter schools can be tricky business. Few things are more personal to Americans than their experiences with the education system. Any conversation about education in our country is naturally laden with emotion. 

Nonetheless, it is imperative to lay out the charter school facts in order to provide families with accurate information about their school options. Explore five charter school facts below.

Fact One: Charter Schools are Public Schools and Free to Attend

Charter school opponents often claim that charter schools are not public schools. Yet charter schools clearly meet the bar for being considered public. They are free to attend and open to all students. 

Just like any other public school, the state of Indiana requires Indianapolis charter schools to follow open enrollment laws. This means that charter schools cannot deny a student for any reason, including race, religion, disability, language proficiency, and academic ability. Indiana school choice is predicated on the notion that charter schools provide free education to every student who wants to attend.

Fact Two: Charter Schools Have High Standards of Accountability

Critics often claim that Indianapolis charter schools are held to lower standards than other public schools. In reality, charter schools are held accountable in rigorous ways by their nonprofit board of directors, their authorizer, and the Indiana State Department of Education. When charter schools fail, they are closed and rightfully so.

Unique to Indianapolis, the mayor has the power to authorize public charter schools through the Office of Education Innovation. The office is responsible for overseeing the academics, finances, and operations of mayor-sponsored public charter schools. 

Fact Three: Charter Schools Outperform Traditional District Schools

Noting that charter schools are public and held to high standards doesn’t mean anything on its own. The third fact is what really sets Indianapolis charter schools apart. Consistently, high-quality independent research from Stanford University’s CREDO and state testing data indicate that Indianapolis charter schools are outperforming traditional district schools. This is particularly true when it comes to Black, Latino, and low-income students.

Fact Four: Charter Schools Serve More Marginalized Students than Traditional Public Schools

People often believe that charter schools pick and choose the students they want. Or that they serve less students or color than traditional district schools and thus somehow exacerbate segregation. Here’s a few Indianapolis charter school facts that set the record straight: 

  • 58.3% of public school students within Indianapolis Public Schools boundaries attend a charter or innovation network school
  • 75.7% of charter and innovation school students qualify for free or reduced-price launch, which outpaces the percentage of those students served by traditional district schools
  • 85.5% of students who attend innovation or charter schools identify as people of color, which also outpaces the percentage of those students served by traditional district schools

Discover Indianapolis Charter Schools Near You

Did you know that you can leverage Indiana school choice for your family? If you are dissatisfied with your school, are looking for something new, or recently moved to Indianapolis, Indianapolis charter schools can serve your family.

Learn more about the unique, high-quality programs at over 60 charter schools in Indianapolis.