Some Charter School Facts

Charter schools are unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement.  

Because they are public schools, they are:

  • Open to all children;
  • Do not charge tuition; and
  • Do not have special entrance requirements.

The core of the charter school model is the belief that public schools should be held accountable for student learning. In exchange for this accountability, school leaders should be given freedom to do whatever it takes to help students achieve and should share what works with the broader public school system so that all students benefit.

In the early 1990s, a small group of educators and policymakers came together to develop the charter school model. Minnesota’s legislature passed the first charter law in 1991, and the first charter school opened in 1992.  

East Range Academy has been operating since the 2007-2008 school year.  It opened with a staff of 7 teachers and 59 students on September 4, 2007.  ERATS now has over 30 staff members and well over 150 students.


How Do Charter Schools Work?

Charter schools foster a partnership between parents, teachers, and students.  They create an environment in which parents can be more involved, teachers are allowed to innovate, and students are provided the atmosphere they need to learn.  

A charter school can break up the day or vary its schedule to provide students with more time on the subjects they need most.  Charter school teachers have a say in the curriculum they teach and can change materials to meet students’ needs.  The School Board of a charter school must include both parents and teachers which gives the board a much stronger sense of how to best meet students' needs.



General charter school information from