Charter Frequently Asked Questions

About Charter Schools


What Is Special About a Charter School?

Many charter schools have a unique curriculum or theme. This theme could range from a special language instruction to an emphasis on arts or science. Strict discipline and uniforms is a usual requirement.

What is a Charter School exactly?

Charter schools are public schools that are responsive to students’ needs and are held accountable for improved student achievement.

The Charter Schools Act of 1992 gives charter schools the freedom to make quick and effective changes to respond to student’s needs.

Charter Schools…

  • Are open to the public
  • Are tuition-free
  • Participate in state tests
  • Employ credentialed teachers1
  • Do not discriminate2

The 2015 fact sheet about charter schools, “Truth About Charters” is available in English and Spanish. To view videos about charter schools, created by the California Charter Schools Association, click here.

Our currently operating schools were awarded charters from the State of California Department of Education in 2008, 2009 & 2014. Ingenium Charter Middle School operates under a charter approved by Los Angeles Unified School District. Our newest school opened in August, 2014 (Clemente Charter School), also under a charter approved by the Los Angeles Unified School District. We are a member of the California Charter Schools Association.

Can My Student Attend a Charter School?

A student does not have to reside within the attendance boundaries of a charter school. If your child has an interest in exploring specific curriculum and a particular charter school has a unique offering within this area, your child may apply for admission. You could live fifteen miles from the school and qualify for enrollment. This is one of the positive attributes of a charter school.

What Is the School's Financial Stability?

Even charter schools that succeed academically may struggle financially. In theory, the tax dollars spent to educate your child will follow them to the charter school. Often times such things as special facilities and student transportation must be funded from the charter school itself. Parents are often expected to assist with fund raising to support the school’s mission.

Charter School Momentum

California has the highest number of charter schools of any state in the country with 1,184 schools serving over 547,800 students as of Fall 2014. In 2014-15, 87 new charter schools opened in California. Charter schools serve a mix of students similar to those in California ‘s traditional public schools.

Charter School Achievements

Research shows charter schools do a better job increasing student achievement than traditional public schools.3 Over 460 charter schools in California are committed to standards and accountability through the Certified Charter Schools Program. Charter school parents cited challenging curriculum and individualized student attention as key reasons for their high level of satisfaction according to a 2007 University of Southern California (USC) field study.4


1 Under California law, charter schools are required to employ credentialed teachers in core and college preparatory classes.
2 Under California law, charter schools cannot discriminate on the basis or disability, race, color, gender, national origin, religion or ancestry.
3 Research based on the California Department of Education’s Academic Performance Index from 2004-2007 indicates that 11% more charters than traditional public schools show substantially higher student achievement by the end of the school year.
4 A 2007 USC field study entitled Charter Schools and Customer Satisfaction: Lessons from Field Testing a Parent Survey by Wohlstetter, Nayfack & Mora-Flores.

Learn More About Charters

Interested in learning more? Please visit CCSA’s Frequently Asked Questions.