Charter schools are independent public schools which are generally exempt from Education Code provisions governing school districts. There is no cost to attend a charter school and they are open to all students. Like traditional public schools, charters receive state funding based on a formula for each child enrolled in the school. It is the intent of the Legislature to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure. (Ed. Code 47601.)
Parents, teachers, or community members may initiate a petition to establish a charter school, which must be authorized by a local school district, or a county office of education, or the State Board of Education. The charter is a contract detailing the charter school's mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success.
The law grants chartering authority to county boards of education and the State Board of Education under certain circumstances, such as the appeal of a petition’s denial by a school district governing board or the direct approval of countywide benefit or statewide benefit charter schools.
A charter petition that is submitted to the County Board is approved or denied based upon the criteria set forth in the law and the Board's regulations. Additional information may be found in the San Mateo County Board of Education Charter School Petition Handbook below:
Legal Reference: Education Code 47605 et seq. Establishment of Charter Schools