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Is a Charter School Right for Your Child?

While charter schools are an appealing option to many parents, especially in communities with underperforming public schools, they remain controversial.

Opponents of charter schools, particularly teachers' unions and public school administrators, say that charter schools:

  • Take away funding from traditional public schools
  • Lack oversight of academics, finances, and administration
  • Pay teachers less (the average charter school teacher's salary is about $32,000 vs. the average traditional public school teacher's salary of about $34,700, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research report)
  • Can send a struggling or failing student back to their traditional public school, which is not an option for regular public schools and can be another blow to that student's morale and grades
  • Have higher staff turnover
And while charter schools report higher graduation and college admission rates than their regular public school counterparts, charter school fourth graders have scored lower in reading and math on the National Assessment of Education Progress, a federal achievement test, than their counterparts in regular public schools, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2009.

If you're considering choosing a charter school for your child, visit the Center for Education Reform for more information, and to find charter schools in your area.



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