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Nearly all charter school action happens at the state and local level. Parents and communities develop and run the schools, local or state boards monitor their progress, regional or state associations provide support and guidance, and state governments write the professional essay format that set all these pieces in motion. While itís true that the US Department of Education provides a bit of financial support to some charter developers and operators and holds them accountable to several federal laws, charters are the creation and ward of committed parents, teachers, and community activists.

Because this is a grassroots movement, it is marked by great diversity. State and local flavors and interests are reflected in the number and location of new schools, in the variety of options, and in the government rules that regulate day-to-day school operations. Some states have hundreds of charter schools, while others have only a handful. Some states offer charter schools dedicated to the arts, others have charters that serve disabled students, and still others have charters that utilize innovative instructional methods. Some states have all of the above and more.

The only way to fully understand and appreciate the variety within the charter movement and all that these schools have to offer is to take a closer look at whatís happening in the states. On the right, youíll find a link to a calendar of state events and a directory of state charter associations and resources centers. Whether youíre new to the world of charter schools and just looking to get your feet wet, or an old pro looking for specific information or fresh inspiration, these sites are a great place to get started.


State Organizations