What is a charter school? It is a public school that receives state funds and must accept all applicants. It must be accountable for its curriculum, as well as meet clear academic standards. What makes it different is it has a contract that can be revoked if the school fails to make good on its commitments. Any public school can apply to become a charter school. A charter school has more freedom from state regulations and is operated by the community in which it is located.

Charter schools link parents, teachers, and children with a common goal and deliver what parents want most, a quality education for their children. It gives parents an opportunity to be involved in what their children learn. Charter schools are not governed by any school board; however, they may only be approved to open and operate by a school board, and must be renewed periodically by that school board. Public schools are not accountable because there are no consequences for failure.

Critics claim that charter schools will drain the regular public school systems of money, but as in higher education, shouldn't the money follow the student and not the school? Critics also complain that charter schools will take the best students and create elitism. A national study by the Hudson Institute showed that nearly two-thirds of the students in charter schools are minorities or disabled children who had not been well served by the regular public school system.

Certain fears are raised about charter schools that community control will mean possible corruption as public money is distributed to private groups and the possibility of strange school programs being funded by the taxpayers. Michael Kelly, editor of The New Republic magazine in his article titled "Dangerous Minds" attacked charter schools suggesting that they are "committed to black nationalism" and would allow "teaching of...conservative virtues and old fashioned education, discipline, and religious instruction".

I feel that charter...