What is a Charter School?


In 1991, the Minnesota Legislature passed the first charter school law in the nation.  It was the beginning of a unique public school option that has grown steadily over the past two decades.

Charter schools are independent public schools started and operated by parents, teachers and an elected board of directors. They are part of the state public school system, but operate independently, as a separate school district.

Charter schools are non-profit organizations funded by state general education revenues.  However, unlike traditional school districts, charter schools cannot initiate tax levies to generate additional funding.  Charter schools are open to all students, and do not charge tuition.

Every charter school in Minnesota must be approved by the Minnesota Department of Education and have a sponsoring Authorizer, who is responsible for oversight of all school operations.  Both of these entities monitor the charter school’s performance in meeting both academic and non-academic charter contract goals the school has established and they have approved.  Lionsgate Academy’s Authorizer is Novation Education Opportunities.

Charter schools offer a unique educational choice in terms of curriculum, instructional methodology and an overall learning experience focused on results.  An effective charter school is designed to increase student achievement above the levels experienced in a traditional public school.

For additional facts and statistics on charter schools, click HERE. You can also visit the Minnesota Department of Education’s website at www.education.state.mn.us and click on Student Success, then Enrollment Choices, followed by Charter Schools.  The Minnesota Charter Schools organization also provides additional information on their website,www.mncharterschools.org.