A charter school is essentially a type of alternative school for students at the elementary, junior high or high school level. Many of these schools focus on providing students with the strong foundations necessary to attend college. Parents choosing between traditional and charter schools will find some benefits associated with charter programs.
School districts receive money from tax payers living within that district, but charter schools receive funding through donations and the government. As parents are not responsible for giving a portion of their tax money to the school, they can save money sending their kids to a charter school. Charter schools also prepare students for college in the same way that a private school would, which often appeals to parents who cannot afford the high tuition costs of a private school.
More Opportunities for Students
Charter schools are not subject to the same mandates and regulations that traditional schools follow. This allows teachers to get creative with how they introduce new subjects and teach their students in the classroom. Students often respond best to different teaching methods. Some students do better working independently, while other students need someone to stand beside them and guide them. Certain students may respond better to hands on classes that involve some type of interaction. Teachers working in charter schools can experiment with different teaching methods to reach all their students.
Smaller Class Sizes
One benefit that may appeal to charter school proponents like Pete Briger is the smaller class sizes that these schools offer. While a normal public school might have 25 to 30 students working with one teacher, charter schools may offer class sizes as low as just 10 students. This allows students to get the one on one instruction and help that they need to succeed. Teachers can take a real interest in their students and help their students learn all the skills they need to move to an upper level grade. The smaller class sizes also help students form better relationships with their peers.
Ample Programs and Activities
Drastic reductions in the amount of funding given to public schools in recent years led to many of those schools cutting art programs and other programs deemed as unnecessary by the school board. Charter schools have more funds available and can offer more programs and activities. These schools can also utilize fundraising campaigns and accept donations from the general public or the private sector to increase its offerings. Students attending a charter school may have limited access to sports, but they generally have more opportunities in regards to activities like debate teams, drama clubs and music classes.
Online Course Options
Many states across the country allow charter schools to offer online courses that students can take in the library or from home. These courses instill in students the importance of using the Internet and helps them learn research and writing skills on their own. Online courses may be open to home schooled students as well to let those students learn about subjects not typically covered in a home curriculum or program. These classes let students learn about hundreds of subjects and gain some great skills. When comparing traditional schools and charter schools, parents often find that charter schools offer more benefits for their children.