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About Charter Schools

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A charter school is an innovative public school operating under a formal contract, or “charter” contract, with its authorizer (usually the state or a school district).  Charter Schools provide an educational alternative to other publicly-funded schools. Charter Schools are held to high performance standards and have the flexibility to “chart” their own paths. Parents, students, and teachers choose to attend and support charter schools; thus, they are called “schools of choice.”

Charter schools, approved by the Oregon Legislature in 1999, are avenues for parents, teachers, and community members to “take responsible risks to create new, innovative, more flexible ways of educating all children within the public school system” (Oregon Revised Statutes [ORS] 338.015).

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