Iowa Coalition for Public Charter Schools

Myths vs. Facts

Myths vs. Facts About Public Charter Schools 

MYTH: Charter schools are not public schools. FACT: As defined in federal and state law, charter schools are public schools.
MYTH: Charter schools get more money than other public schools. FACT: On average, charter schools receive less public funding than traditional public schools.
MYTH: There is a lack of transparency around charter schools’ use of funds. FACT: Charter schools have greater accountability and scrutiny over their finances than traditional public schools.
MYTH: Charter schools take funding away from traditional public schools. FACT: Public school funding is sent to the public school that a student attends.
MYTH: Charter schools cherry-pick the best students from traditional public schools. FACT: Public charter schools are generally required to take all students who want to attend.
MYTH: Charter schools don’t enroll children from underserved families. FACT: Public charter schools generally enroll more students of color and from low-income backgrounds than traditional public schools.
MYTH: Charter school students do no better than traditional public school students. FACT: Independent studies are consistently showing that students attending charter schools do better academically than their traditional school peers.
MYTH: Competition from charter schools is causing neighborhood schools to close and harming the students attending them . FACT: No research has shown that the presence of public charter schools causes neighborhood schools to close.
MYTH: Charter schools serve fewer English Learners than traditional public schools. FACT: There is no significant difference in the percentage of English Learners (ELs) served by traditional or public charter schools.
MYTH: Charter school teachers are less qualified than teachers in traditional public schools. FACT: Like all public schools, charters aim to hire talented, passionate, and qualified teachers who will boost student achievement.
MYTH: Charter schools are anti-union. FACT: Charter schools are neither pro-union nor anti-union, they are pro-student and pro-teacher.
MYTH: Underperforming charter schools are allowed to remain open. FACT: If a public charter school is not improving student achievement as laid out in its foundational charter agreement, it can be closed down.
MYTH: Charter schools aren’t the incubators of innovation that they claim to be. FACT: Public charter schools are using their autonomy to push boundaries to better serve students, generating lessons that can be refined and shared throughout the broader public school system.
MYTH: Charter schools resegregate public education. FACT: Parents decide where to send their children to school within the options available to them.


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