Public charter schools are designed as alternatives to traditional public schools that are authorized by the State Board of Education and operated by independent non-profit boards of directors. In many cases, they operate independently from local school districts. As such, charter schools operate with freedom from many of the regulations that govern district schools but are held accountable through the State assessment and accountability system. These schools sign contracts that allow them to choose their own curriculum and teaching styles to meet the needs of their students.
State and local tax dollars are the primary funding sources for charter schools, which have open enrollment and cannot discriminate in admissions, associate with any religion or religious group, or charge tuition.