CSE Backgound – Charter Schools


Most parents agree:

Our current education system needs improvement.

Charter schools can help by bringing competition, accountability, opportunity, and innovation to our public schools.

Parental involvement is a key factor in your child’s success at school, and a key factor in the success of charter schools.


In choosing charter schools, parents are actively making a choice among education alternatives. Furthermore, charter schools must be responsive to parents to keep their doors open. Charter schools provide hope and opportunity by offering educational alternatives to students assigned to schools failing to meet their needs.

Charter Schools are independent schools within a public school district that are not required to adhere to the same regulatory burdens of other public schools. They are free to adopt their own curricula and disciplinary tactics, as well as personnel, in exchange for more rigorous performance standards. These schools compete on a per-child-basis with regular public schools for funds.

Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) Foundation believes that YOU as a parent should have the power and opportunity to choose your child’s school.

You are asking schools – charter and public – to compete for the opportunity to educate your child.

If you don’t think your local public school is serving your child’s needs, you are out of luck unless you can afford a private school. A strong charter school law would change that.

Don’t believe charter school myths.

Charter schools will not take money away from district schools. When a child opts for a charter school, the school district retains anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent of that child’s funding to help pay the fixed costs of running the public school.

Charter schools are not intolerant. The average charter school is more racially diverse, and more likely to enroll disabled, non-English speaking, and low-income students.

Charter schools will not weaken public schools. Competition will strengthen all schools. Just as competition has produced better cars and computers, competition will produce better schools for everyone.

Charter schools work!

Charter schools are spreading like wildfire. There are 34 states with charter schools, with particularly strong charter laws in at least 12 of those states. In Arizona, 92 percent of the parents surveyed said they are satisfied with their child’s charter school. Only half of those parents were satisfied with their child’s previous school. Now, some charters are sharing their programs with district schools. Charter schools allow communities to work together to improve education.

In Mesa, Arizona, public schools are responding to the flight to charter schools by tying 2 percent of salaries for all school employees to accountability goals – from returning phone calls to improving reading scores.

Parents need to support strong charter schools laws that will:

Create competition among schools.

Many parents don’t believe that combining grades and ability levels, cooperative learning, or relying on whole language or new math, are benefiting their children. That’s why in many states with charter laws, back-to-basics schools are flourishing. Many districts that have charter schools are starting their own innovative public school programs to compete against popular charter schools.

Encourage school districts to be accountable for their performance.

High academic achievement and operational fitness are required for the continuation of a charter. Currently, there are no such requirements for most public schools – that’s why ineffective programs continue and taxpayer dollars are squandered.

Exempt charter schools from government regulations so they can be free to innovate.

Strong charter school laws would allow charter schools to hire non-certified teachers who are experts in their field. Teachers would have the freedom to become true teaching professionals instead of paper pushers. Charter schools allow more local control, not less. Parents and the community will drive education, not bureaucrats and teacher’s union officials.

Call to Action:

CSE Foundation believes that parents must play an active role to improve our children’s education.

Call or write your representatives at the state and local level to let them know you support strong charter school laws.

Write a letter to the editor supporting strong charter school laws.

Call CSE Foundation to find out more about supporting charter schools. 1 888 JOIN CSE

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