Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that operate with greater independence and autonomy than conventional district schools. Many charter schools are specialized by subject emphasis or educational style—which makes them a great fit for unique students. Although these schools are publicly funded, they are not affiliated with the local school district.

163 brick-and-mortar charter schools

Charter schools must undergo a stringent approval process before they can open in a location where district schools already exist. Nevertheless, more and more applications are filed every year, and the charter system has become a growing movement that thousands of parents energetically support.

More than 100,000 students

The innovation and specialization at charter schools is developing at a tremendous pace. That’s why tens of thousands of charter school students wake up excited to get to class each day. These types of schools exist across the state and attract applicants from every demographic.

Since 1997

The first charter schools opened after the Pennsylvania Legislature made them legal in 1997. Philadelphia has always been the home of the most charters, which expanded slowly at first across the rest of the state. Currently, Philadelphia has one of the highest percentages of charter school students in the country.

Charter school leaders and teachers have more freedom to create an adaptive learning environment for your child. Charter schools must also maintain a set of performance standards in order to continue operating. Charter schools must accept all applicants, except some performing arts or specialty schools, like math or engineering schools.