Myth: Charter schools are not held accountable.
Fact: Public charter schools are held accountable to the same key state and federal laws and regulations, including state testing, financial audits and overall academic standards, as traditional public schools.  Charter schools are also subject to closure laws based on academic performance and achieving goals (academic and operational) as stated in their charter contracts.

Myth: Charter schools operate with little oversight.
Fact: Authorizers (or sponsors as referred to in Ohio), which operate under the authority and oversight of the state department of education, are tasked with providing rigorous oversight and monitoring of charter schools.  Additionally, all charter school operators report to non-profit governing boards, which must hold them accountable for all aspects of school performance.

Myth: Charter schools are private schools.
Fact: Charter schools are public schools.  They are tuition-free and obligated to accept all students who seek to enroll.  Charter schools cannot discriminate.

Myth: There is a lack of transparency around charter school spending and fiscal management.
Fact: Just like traditional public schools, charter schools are publicly funded and subject to state and federal laws that dictate fiscal management.  Charter schools are also subject to fiscal oversight by authorizers and governing boards, and are audited by the Auditor of State (or its designee) on an annual basis.

Myth: Charter schools don’t have to serve student with special needs.
Fact: Like all public schools, charter schools have the responsibility to serve all students, including those with special needs. Charter schools cannot discriminate for any reason.  In fact, charter schools are uniquely positioned to provide innovative, high-quality educational opportunities to students with special needs, and oftentimes, you will see high percentages of students with special needs in urban charter schools.

Myth: Charter schools are an unproven experiment.
Fact: Charter schools were first established in Minnesota over 25 years ago.  Ohio opened its first charter schools in 1998 and Kentucky is now the 44th state to approve charter school law leaving only 6 additional states to follow suit.  Parents across the United States have chosen to send their children to public charter schools as the best education option for their children. In 2016, there were over 2.5 million students enrolled in charter schools (5% of total public school enrollment.)

Myth: Charter school teachers are substandard as compared to those who teach in traditional public schools.
Fact: While the specifics vary by state law and charter contract terms, charter school teachers must be licensed, certified, and “highly qualified”.

Myth: Charter schools remain open even if they fail to provide positive student outcomes.
Fact: If a charter school does not meet required standards and consistently fails to meet academic expectations, they are subject to state specific closure laws. In fact, unlike underperforming traditional public schools that generally remain open regardless of poor academic performance, charter schools can be closed based on their performance in the first contract term.

Myth: Charter schools drain money from traditional public schools.
Fact: Charter schools generally operate with just two-thirds of the per pupil funding provided for traditional public school students, and those funds must be stretched to cover all things academic plus significant operational costs such as facilities and transportation.  With very limited exceptions, most charter schools receive no share of local tax funding, but operate on state and federal funding with some individual donor contributions alone.

Myth:  Public charter schools are for-profit entities.
Fact:  All public charter schools are non-profit entities that operate under the authority of non-profit boards of directors.  In most states, non-profit boards hold the charters.  In some cases, these charter school boards hire non-profit or for-profit education management companies to operate their schools.  Some states allow only non-profit operators, while others allow for-profit operators as well.  Either way, the operating company is not the sole responsible entity for the charter.  The nonprofit board is the decision making authority and who is responsible for the overall success and direction of the school.