About Charter Schools – Web Kit

A Message from State Superintendent Catherine Truitt


Charter schools are tuition-free public schools that are open to all students, even those who live in a different county. Public charter schools operate outside of the traditional education system, empowering teachers to provide innovative, high-quality instruction and granting school leaders autonomy to design classroom learning that fits their students’ needs.


The North Carolina General Assembly authorized the creation of public charter schools in 1996 to give parents an option in choosing the school environment that best fits their children’s gifts, to improve student learning, and to galvanize innovation in education. Since then, the popularity of public charter schools has only grown. In fact, the population of students served by public charter schools has tripled in the past decade, even as the number of school-aged children increased by less than 3%.


Public charter schools are accountable to rigorous performance standards required by their founding document, or “charter,” and they must also follow the state’s Performance Framework, developed by the N.C. State Board of Education. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction provides day-to-day oversight. Public charter schools are also subject to the ultimate form of accountability: parent choice.


By having an option in their public schooling, parents are empowered to choose which educational environment is best for their children.

(the video below is courtesy of the News & Observer)

Other Resources

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools: “About Charter Schools

N.C. Coalition for Charter Schools: Parent Newsletter Sign-Up Page

Public Charter Schools in North Carolina Statute: Article 14A