About Charter Schools
Charter schools operate public elementary, middle or secondary schools that are relatively autonomous schools of choice. They operate under a charter, or contract, issued by a public entity such as a local school district or State Public Charter School Authority. Individual states determine in their charter school legislation which rules must be adhered to, which rules may be waived, and which procedures must be followed to obtain a charter. In return for their autonomy, charter schools are held accountable for student performance: Quoting the Center on Reinventing Public Education "Every charter school statute embodies a legislature's intent to give school organizers a relatively free hand in managing individual schools in return for accepting increased responsibility for student performance. This is the "basic bargain" of charter school legislation: autonomy for accountability." If the goals of the school set forth in the charter are not reached, the school’s charter may be revoked or not renewed.
The primary consideration of the Nevada Legislature in enacting legislation to authorize charter schools is to serve the best interests of all pupils, including pupils who may be at risk. The intention of the legislature is to provide:
- The board of trustees of school districts with a method to experiment with providing a variety of independent public schools to the pupils of this state;
- A framework for such experimentation;
- A mechanism by which the results achieved by charter schools may be measured and analyzed; and
- A procedure by which the positive results achieved by charter schools may be replicated and the negative results may be identified and eliminated.
It is further the intention of the legislature to provide teachers and other educational personnel, parents, legal guardians and other persons who are interested in the system of public education in this state the opportunity to:
- Improve the learning of pupils and, by extension, improve the system of public education;
- Increase the opportunities for learning and access to quality education by pupils;
- Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods;
- Establish appropriate measures for and assessments of the learning achieved by pupils who are enrolled in charter schools;
- Provide a more thorough and efficient system of accountability of the results achieved in public education in this state; and
- Create new professional opportunities for teachers and other educational personnel, including, without limitation, the opportunity to increase the accessibility and responsibility of teachers and other educational personnel for the program of learning offered.