FAQs about charter schools

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4B

What is a charter school?

Charter schools generally are organized by teachers, parents, community groups or nonprofits. The charters are granted by a school district, county office of education or the state for a fixed period of time, usually five years in California. They are exempt from most laws that apply to public schools but must meet student performance goals outlined in their charters.

How are they funded?

California charter schools are public and can't charge tuition. They receive much of the same funding as regular public schools. Many also receive funds from the federal Charter Schools program.

How can I find one?

Check with your school district or the California Department of Education website: www.cde.ca.gov/ds/si/cs/ap/rpt.asp?page=1&s=4 />

Charter school students in state:

• 1998-98: 88,334

• 2009-10: 341,000

• 2010-11: 412,000

• 2011-12: 484,000

Charter school students in the Sacramento region:

• Sacramento County: 23,551 in 44 schools.

• Placer County: 8,791 in 21 schools.

• El Dorado County: 1,839 in nine schools.

• Yolo County: 1,305 in five schools.

• Yuba County: 1,390 in six schools.

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