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Five Questions to Ask: Charters & Choice

  1. How do the school results (test scores, graduation rates, student retention rates) and student demographics (free and reduced-price lunch rates, racial breakdown, special education population) at the charter schools in your district compare with those at the traditional schools?

  2. Who can authorize charter schools in your state, and what percent of the applicants who apply for charters get approved?

  3. Who evaluates charter schools and how?Have any of the charter schools in your region ever closed? Why or why not?

  4. What other forms of school choice exist in your region? Are there voucher programs (or proposals), magnet schools, or interdistrict transfer options? Have any of these types of choice increased or decreased in size significantly in recent years? Why or why not?

  5. What types of school choice do parents prefer? What are some of the reasons they have chosen a charter school instead of a traditional one, or vice versa? Do the district or other groups create guides, host meetings, or provide other resources that help parents navigate their school options and ensure a level playing field for families choosing schools?