Students may attend a charter school; the law in California states that charter schools shall admit all pupils who wish to attend the school, within the school's established enrollment limits. The State Legislature created charter schools to provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities available within the public school system.
What is a Charter School?
A charter school is a public school that may provide instruction in any of grades kindergarten through twelve. A charter school is usually created or organized by a group of teachers, parents and community leaders or a community-based organization, and it is usually sponsored by an existing local public school board or county board of education. Specific goals and operating procedures for the charter school are detailed in an agreement or charter between the sponsoring board and charter organizers.
A charter school is generally exempt from most laws governing school districts except where specifically noted in the law. California public charter schools are required to participate in the statewide assessment testing. The law also requires that a public school be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and prohibits the conversion of a private school to a charter school. Public charter schools may not charge tuition and may not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.
When a charter school petition is denied by a local public school board, the appeal may come to the San Mateo County Board of Education. Information on the appeal process can be found here.
For additional information, reference the California Department of Education's Charter Schools Resources page.