A Brief History of Charter Schools in California

As parents, you will want to understand all your options for your child’s education. Over the last few decades charter, schools have become more and more available and accessible. They were originally introduced to provide an alternative to parents who wanted an enhanced education and community for their kids.

So it is important to factor in charter schools Orange County options in addition to your public school and private school options.

That is why we have not only rounded up the top things to know about charter schools in California but also provide a brief history as to how they even came to be.

How it All Started

Back in the 1990s, there was a growing movement in America where parents were rallying for more educational choices for their children. This eventually progressed to the court of law, where the first charter school in the US was officially approved in 1991. From there, more and more charter schools started popping up, with now thousands all throughout the country. In fact, nearly every state but a few now has some.

Charter schools set out to be different than the molded public school system. Their main aim was to really break away from the status quo of government restraints and rules that were really not in the best interest of the students learning.

When it comes to understanding the main difference between charter schools and public schools, it comes down to who runs the school. Charter schools are run by a community that sits outside the normal public school district and is a mix of parents, teachers, non-profits, and for-profit companies.

How it is Funded

Charter schools are similar to public schools in terms of the fact they are free to attend. This means that there is no tuition required. Instead, they receive their funding from a combination of federal and state money plus numerous local contributors. This is very similar to how public schools are also funded.

But charter schools normally do not receive as much as public schools. This means that the communities that run the school have to work much harder and be more innovative to get the funds needed. What this does solidify is the community’s commitment and passion for creating an amazing school to enrich the lives of children.

To maintain their federal and state funding, the performance scores must also be met to satisfactory standards just like a public school too.

How it Operates

As we mentioned earlier, charter schools are run by a community of people that consists of educators, parents, and businesses. Because of this, charter school does not have to operate to the same standards as public schools, meaning that there is more flexibility and innovative options for the school.

This also means that charter schools are able to operate on a lottery basis as to who is accepted to the school.

How You Get Accepted

The standard way to get accepted into a charter school is through the lottery system. This means that if there are more people wanting to attend compared to the available seats, the spots are drawn at random.

For families that have multiple kids, if one kid is selected for the lottery then the siblings will also be admitted. But as we have mentioned previously, it is really all up to the individual school to decide their process for acceptance as they are not bound to the same rules as public schools.

How Students Benefit

There are many benefits that children receive when they attend charter schools. Firstly, the freedom of choice is huge. Because by having a choice, it means that your child can attend the school that they are truly the best fit for.

Students at charter schools also tend to receive more attention. This is because they are in an environment where there are fewer students so teachers can really develop personalized relationships with each of their students. This enables them to be nurtured and really progress when it comes to their education and their specific needs.

Another benefit that students receive from attending charter schools is that they tend to perform better. In fact, recent studies show that students who attend charter schools tend to have higher test scores and more robust education in all subjects.

Finally, charter schools offer a competitive and motivating environment where students are held to a higher standard. Because of this, students become more well-rounded people who are prepared for the real world and to excel in their careers.


The evolution of charter schools has been monumental in recent years. Providing families across the country with an affordable educational alternative that is led by a diverse array of community members means that your child will attend a place that is passionate about providing quality education. So why not consider sending yours to a charter school?


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