Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina

What is a charter school?


Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that are open to all students. Charter schools have the flexibility to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. 

Dispelling Myths About Charter Schools

Charter schools have seen tremendous growth over the past decade, with a 40% increase in the number of schools and an 80% surge in enrollment. This growth comes amidst overwhelming parent demand, with over 1 million students still on charter school waiting lists.

While charter schools enjoy bipartisan support among policymakers and families seeking quality options, critics have also raised some common concerns. This article confronts those charter school myths with facts.

Financial Myths

Myth: Charter schools receive more funding than traditional public schools.

Fact: On average, charter schools receive nearly 30% less funding per pupil. Many states provide no facilities funding, further widening this gap.

Myth: Charter schools receive disproportionate private funds.

Fact: Federal data shows traditional public schools actually receive more private money per pupil than charter schools. Charters raise funds primarily to offset gaps in public funding.

Student Myths

Myth: Charter schools “cream” the best students from traditional schools.

Fact: Charter lotteries prohibit selective admission, requiring open enrollment of all students. Federal law mandates they serve special education and English learners equitably.

Myth: Charter schools serve lower percentages of minority, low-income, and other high-need students.

Fact: The opposite is true. Charters enroll higher rates of these populations than traditional schools.

Performance Myths

Myth: Charter students show no better academic results than traditional schools.

Fact: 15 of 16 recent studies found students in charter schools outperform their district peers in math, reading, and other subjects. Margins are particularly high for low-income and minority subgroups.

Myth: Underperforming charter schools continue operating indefinitely.

Fact: Approximately 200 charter schools close each year if they fail to meet strict accountability standards. Traditional public schools face far fewer consequences for poor results.

Get the Full Facts

Want to learn more myths and realities around charter schools?

Check out our comprehensive fact sheet document for:

  • Details on common charter concerns
  • Unbiased evidence confronting criticisms
  • Research on charter performance, accountability, and more

Equipped with the facts, you can make an informed decision and join the over 80% of Americans in supporting charter schools as a quality public education option.

Here to help

If you want additional information or have questions, get in touch with our team of experts today!