• What is a Charter School?

    Charter schools are unique public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement.

        Charter schools are public schools.

        Charter schools do not charge tuition.

        Charter schools do not have special entrance requirements.

        Charter schools do not discriminate.

        Charter schools accept students with disabilities and/or special needs.

        Charter schools do not teach religion.

        Charter school students must take state assessment tests.

        Charter school teachers must be "highly qualified" under the No Child Left Behind Act.

        Charter schools are bound by federal and state public school laws.

        In 2014-15, there are over 101,000 students attending 214 charter school campuses in Colorado. This represents 11.7% of total K-12 public school enrollment in the state.

        Charter schools differ from neighborhood public schools in 3 primary ways:

    • Charter schools are allowed more autonomy in governance1, which includes greater control over hiring of teachers and staff.
    • Charter schools are allowed the freedom to manage their own finances2.
    • Charter schools have the freedom to decide on their own curriculum3.



            Charter schools are accountable to their authorizer. In the case of Lincoln Academy, our authorizer is the Jefferson County Board of Education.

            Each charter school is governed by its own board of directors, whose sole employee is the principal (sometimes titled “executive director” or “head of school”).

            The charter school principal/executive director/head of school is responsible for the hiring and management of the school’s teachers and staff.



          Charter schools are financially accountable to their authorizer as well as state and federal governments.

          Charter schools are public schools, thus they are funded with state taxpayer dollars in the form of "per-pupil operating revenue" or PPR.

          School districts finance their facilities using property tax, mill levies, and taxpayer-backed bonds. Charter schools generally do not receive a proportionate share of these monies. As a result, money often comes out of the classroom to pay for buildings.

            On average, charter schools in Colorado spend $606 per student from designated per-pupil operating revenue on facilities costs.


    3Curriculum: Lincoln Academy uses the Core Knowledge Curriculum.


    To learn more about charter schools, visit: