About Charter Schools

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Charter schools are public, tuition-free schools that are open to all students. Often operated independently from the traditional school district, charter schools provide high-quality instruction from teachers who have the autonomy to design a classroom that fits their students' needs. They are led by dynamic principals who have the flexibility to create a school culture that fosters student performance and parent satisfaction.

What is a charter school?

Charter schools are independently-operated public schools that have the freedom to design classrooms that meet their students’ needs. 

Stories & Impact

Sandy Dessources Headshot

My name is Sandy Dessources and last year I graduated from City on a Hill Charter Public School in Boston, Massachusetts. It's my dream to become an attorney - I want to spend my career fighting to eliminate the systemic obstacles facing women. In order to fully understand where my dreams come from and how I plan to get there, I’d like to tell you a bit about myself. My family is from the island of Hispaniola, more formally known as Haiti. When we arrived in America, my parents could not speak, read, or write in English. My father had to work three jobs in order to make ends meet. But they were determined to give me the opportunity to get a strong education. Walking through the doors at City on a Hill for the first time, I was in total awe. At City on a Hill, I have learned many things—core academic subjects like Spanish, civics, English, and statistics, as well as equally important life skills such as professionalism, public speaking, and leadership. Last year on National College Decision Day, I chose between attending four incredible schools—American University, Brandeis University, College of the Holy Cross, and George Washington University! 

Sandy Dessources, City on a Hill Charter Public School Graduate

Meet a Charter School Trailblazer

Caprice Young Headshot

Caprice Young’s leadership in education reform has transformed the movement in Los Angeles and the nation. Elected to lead the L.A. Unified school board in 1999, she helped increase the number of independent charter schools from seven to over 40 by the time she left office, with dozens more approved to open. Many of those early schools have grown to positively change L.A. In 2003, she founded the California Charter Schools Association, charting the movement’s course and providing a national model for successful state charter organizations. As CEO, she helped educators create more than 300 new charter schools and championed quality standards, while continuing work at the national level on the National Alliance's Board of Directors. Young has since focused her work at the school level and is now CEO of Magnolia Public Schools, operating 10 high-performing charter schools in Southern California. 

Caprice Young, Inducted into the 2017 Charter School Hall of Fame