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Frequent Questions

We get a lot of questions about our approach, and charter schools in general. If you have a question that isn't listed below, please reach out and we'd be happy to help!

What is a charter school?

A charter school is a free, independent public school that operates outside of a school district. Charter schools are granted greater flexibility in return for greater accountability.

Where can charter schools be located?

Charter schools can open and operate in all school districts in Missouri. The Missouri Charter Public School Commission can sponsor charter schools in Kansas City Public Schools district, St. Louis Public Schools district, any unaccredited district and any district provisionally accredited for 3 or more years.

Who can attend charter schools?

Charter schools are public schools and open to all students in the area they serve. Charter schools accept students by random, public lottery.

What is the difference between charter public schools and other public schools?

The biggest difference is that no student is assigned to a charter school. Families choose to enroll their children in charter schools. Charter schools are accountable to achieve the same state standards as school districts, but may choose to use different measures and timelines for reaching their goals. In exchange for flexibility, charters can be closed if they do not keep their performance promises.

How are charter schools funded?

Charter schools receive per pupil public funds similar to district schools. While Missouri law requires charter schools to receive 100% of the funding, the reality is that charter school per pupil funding is slightly smaller than what the local district receives.

What is a "charter"?

The “charter” is the contract between a non­profit entity and an allowable sponsor. The “charter” explains what the school wants to do, how they will go about it, what they will accomplish, and how they will measure their performance. When a charter school fails to comply with the terms of its charter, the charter can be revoked or not renewed at the end of the contract (usually 5 years).

How is a charter school governed?

Board of Directors

Missouri charter schools are governed by non-profit boards and must comply with the conditions of their “charter” agreement and performance contract.  They all operate under Missouri Statutes that regulate non-profit organizations and applicable Sunshine Laws and Transparency.

If you have any specific questions you can contact Lennel Hunter at boardchair@tlsstl.org.

Missouri Charter Public School Commission

Each sponsor sets their own policies and procedures for sponsorship. Sponsored charter schools must be approved by the Missouri State Board of Education and must meet all applicable state statutes and Department of Elementary and Secondary Regulations.

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Have another question?

If you’d like to learn more or dive deeper into something specific, we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions!

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