What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are public schools operating under a performance contract or “charter.” The charter allows the school to operate under defined rules and regulations. As part of the contract between the charter school and the sponsor (Polk County Public Schools), charter schools are held accountable for academic and financial results.

Purpose of a Charter School

Charter schools are independent public schools, which are fiscally and academically accountable to the sponsoring school system, but exempt from the district and most state statutes. The schools also have control over 95 percent of the student funds generated through student enrollment. This freedom is intended to allow charter schools to be more innovative, demonstrate better student performance, and make the local school the agent of change for the students the school serves.

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Potential Charter Applicants

The School Board of Polk County, Florida, pursuant to Florida Statutes 1002.33, 1001.41, establishes charter schools for the following purposes:

  • to improve student learning and academic achievement
  • to increase learning opportunities for all students with special emphasis on low-performing students and reading
  • to encourage the use of innovative learning methods
  • to increase choices of learning opportunities for students
  • to establish a new form of accountability for schools
  • to require the measurement of learning outcomes and create innovative measurement tools
  • and to create new professional opportunities for teachers

New Charter Application Orientation

Thursday November 14, 2019 from 1 pm – 4 pm

The School Board of Polk County
1915 S. Floral Ave, Bartow, Florida 33830