Charter or community schools are state-funded public schools that operate outside of the traditional public school system. They may not discriminate in their student selection, charge tuition or ignore laws relating to health, safety and civil rights. What makes them different from traditional public schools is that they have fewer rules and regulations to follow in such areas as curriculum, grade levels and length of school year. However, they must follow all state and federal laws related to special education, including IDEA
and Section 504
. Charter schools must provide a free appropriate public education including the development of an IEP
or 504 Plan to eligible students.