Charter Schools Office

Charter Schools Office



Welcome to the Charter Schools Office

This website has been developed to aid students, parents, teachers and the general public as they seek information on Philadelphia's 86 brick-and-mortar charter schools. Viewers will find links to charter school websites, current and archived academic performance reports, demographic information, awards and recognition for individual schools many other items that will enable viewers to make informed decisions about their charter school choices.

We have also provided information for charter school operators to facilitate their interaction with various District offices.

Parents and students are encouraged to contact the schools directly for open house dates, 12th and 8th grade graduate reports, teacher and student stability data and other school-specific information that they desire.

We have also included a number of references to help explain specific Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) policies and procedures related to charter schools, a number of research documents and information on selected national organizations which monitor charter school performance.

We intend to revise our website periodically and we welcome your suggestions about how we can make it a more effective tool to exercise your public school choice options. Please e-mail us at charters@philasd.org.

What Are Charter Schools?

Charter Schools are independently operated public schools that are funded with federal, state and local tax dollars.  These schools are established to provide families with more educational alternatives for their children. Charters are non-profit, non sectarian, organizations that are approved by the local Board of Education   (the "authorizer") or the State Appeal Board. Each charter has its own Board of Trustees and administrative staff and operates as a separate, independent  local educational agency (LEA) within Intermediate Unit 26 (IU 26).  The Pennsylvania Charter School Law - Act 22 of 1997 - set up charters to operate free of many of the local and state requirements that apply to traditional public schools.

Charter schools are accountable to their authorizer, however, for making academic progress, for fulfilling the terms of both its original charter and of its Charter Agreement  and for complying with a number of  applicable federal statutes - such as  No Child Left Behind (NCLB) , Individuals with Disabilities Education Act  (IDEA), Family Educational Rights and  Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Internal Revenue Code for (501)(c)(3) organizations; and state statutes - such as the Public Officials and Employee Ethics Act, the Right To Know Act, the Sunshine Act, the Public School Code of 1949 and the Pennsylvania Non Profit Corporation Act.

Each charter school should have a Parent/Community Handbook which explains the school's rules , how it complies with these statutes, a listing of dates and times for Board of Trustees' meetings , the procedure to be followed for parental inquiries and complaints and many other details about the school's operations.

Many charters have posted this information on their websites.

To View Frequently Asked Questions - click here
More questions?  Contact us at charters@philasd.org

Search Our Site

Charter School Lookup

For the current charter school directory - Click Here
For profiles of charter schools - Click here
For Annual Charter Evaluations - Click here