School Guide Magazine

Triangle Charter Schools

Posted June 6, 2007 2:00 p.m. EDT

If you find yourself part of a rapidly increasing group of concerned parents looking for non-traditional education, you may find a valuable option in charter schools. These are public schools with open enrollment and no tuition and therefore, have no religious affiliation.

Funded by local, state, and federal tax dollars charter schools are a cost effective way to seek education for children outside of the private school arena. These schools are often organized by teachers, parents, and communities seeking some independence from typical public schools.

Why have I never heard of charter schools? Although charter schools are relatively new to the education scene, there are 3,000 schools in the U.S. with 750,000 students. The schools are all evaluated using the same state mandated tests as public and private schools. Charters are usually granted by local school boards to an organization proposing to fill a need for a different educational experience than area schools are offering. Many charter schools, for example, have fewer constraints regarding teacher certification and will hire teachers outside of the traditional mold. This can help charter schools ensure a more favorable teacher-student ratio. Even the National Education Association recognizes that charter schools have potential to encourage education reform as well as develop creative teaching methods.

This alternative type of education relies more heavily on the supporting family and community of the student. Of course, many educators favor this more hands-on approach to their children’s education. If you agree, be sure to take special care when selecting schools with a charter program that cater to your child’s needs and educational goals. Academic achievement can vary greatly among charter schools. All charter schools in the Triangle are listed at along with their performance ratings.

Some parents cherish the freedom from the rules and regulations commonly associated with standard public schools. If this type of education interests your family, charter schools can bridge the gap between the many schooling options in the Triangle – it might be just what you’re looking for.