• Frequently Asked Questions     

    What is a charter school?

    A charter school is a public school that operates under contract with a local authorizer such as Atlanta Public Schools. Charter schools are governed by their own independent, non-profit boards with oversight from the authorizer and the State Department of Education. Charter schools have district-wide enrollment zones and are allowed flexibility in their programming in exchange for specific performance goals.

    Are charter schools public schools?


    Can my child attend a charter school?

    All families living within the Atlanta Public School district may apply to attend an APS charter school. Registration is handled at the individual schools and is only limited by available space. Charter schools may set geographic enrollment priority zones in their charter. Any spaces available after initial registration are filled by lottery.

    I live out of district. Can my child attend an APS charter school? 

    Unfortunately, no. Charter schools are funded primarily through local tax dollars and only district residents may attend. Only children of employees and board members of a specific charter school living outside of the district are allowed to attend.

    Do charter schools provide special education services?

    As public schools, all charter schools must serve students with special needs. Atlanta Public Schools charters participate in some elements of the district’s special education program and services are monitored by the district.  As is the case with traditional schools, due to facilities and staffing limitations, the most appropriate program for every student may not be offered at every charter school.


    What are the Atlanta Board of Education’s policies regarding charter schools?

    The Atlanta Board of Education’s policies regarding charter schools can be found at http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=781

     Who governs APS charter schools?

    Each charter school is governed by it's own independent board. Charter school boards are incorporated as Georgia nonprofit corporations. Some charter schools contract with Educational Management Organizations to run their schools, but all legal and fiduciary responsibility for a charter school rests with its independent governing board. The district is charged by the state with “control and management” of the charter schools it authorizes, though both the authorizer and the Department of Education mainly provide oversight and support to charter schools rather than actively managing them.

    How are charter schools funded?

    Like all public schools, charters receive a combination of federal, state and local funding. The State Department of Education calculates a funding sheet for each individual charter school, based on the school’s student and employee composition. The local authorizer then develops a proportional local funding amount based on the average amount each student in the district receives from local dollars. The formula for each of these calculations can be found in Title 20, Georgia School Law.

    How can I find more information about a specific charter school?

    Contacting charter schools directly is the best way to find additional information. Charter school board meetings are open to the public and the meetings are posted on each school’s web page. Atlanta Public Schools Office of Innovation is available to provide additional information about the district's charter schools and the processes surrounding them. We can be reached at 404-802-2864. All approved charter applications are posted at the Department of Education’s website at: http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/pea_charter.aspx?PageReq=CIIAPCharterSchools