Click here to visit the Nevada Department of Education home page.

Click here to view the list of charter schools registered with the Nevada Department of Education.

What Is a Charter School?

Charter schools are public schools that are independent of school districts through contracts with state or local boards. As public schools, charter schools are open to all children, do not require entrance exams, cannot charge tuition, and must participate in state testing and federal accountability programs. The schools draw up their own “charter” which is a set of rules and performance standards that they are held accountable to.

How are charter schools different from traditional public schools?

Charter Schools:

  • Exempt from certain state or local rules and regulations
  • Governed by a group or organization, instead of by the state education board
  • Accountable to a charter — a performance contract — and are obligated to meet standards in the charter in order to receive funding and maintain autonomy
  • Funded on a per-pupil basis with public funds

Traditional Public Schools:

  • Must meet education standards set by the state education board, following all state and local laws and regulations
  • Each public school district has a publicly-elected school board that’s held accountable for school performance
  • Rely on a combination of local, state, and federal government funding, with a great portion of that coming in the form of local taxes (funding varies across school districts)

Why Choose a Charter School?

A largely attractive feature of charter schools is the on-board flexibility offered at each participating institution. This type of flexibility can take several forms:

  • Schools can adjust the curricula and class materials to fit students’ needs.
  • Some schools create a theme or an overall focus for their curricula, such as STEM education, performing arts, college prep, or language immersion.
  • Some schools’ concept of the physical classroom can vary, such as allowing kids to access online classes.

How is a charter school established?

A group of people—which could include parents, community leaders, teachers, school districts, or municipalities—submit a charter. This charter is then reviewed by authorizers. Depending on state laws, these authorizers can be: a state board of education, education agencies, higher ed institutions, or local school districts. Authorizers are held accountable for the performance of the charter school, and the charter must be renewed every few years.

How are charter schools funded?

Charter schools receive their funds by getting state-approved charters. If a charter is approved, funding is allotted on a per-pupil basis. They are primarily publicly funded, but can still receive private funding.

How do students enroll in a charter school?

Students must apply and be accepted, sometimes through a lottery system if the school cannot accommodate all the applicants.