In 2012, Washington became the 42nd state to allow public charter schools.

Charter schools are independently managed public schools that are operated by approved nonprofit organizations. They are free and open to all students who live in Washington state. Charter schools receive funding based on student enrollment, just like any other district public school.

Public charter schools also have more flexibility to create specific academic programs focused on areas like the arts, science and math, or special education. Teachers in charter schools can also customize curriculum to meet the needs of individual students.

To learn more about public charter schools, visit Washington State Charter Schools Association (WA Charters). WA Charters is a statewide nonprofit that works to support the start-up of high-quality public charter schools, with a focus on serving academically and economically disadvantaged communities. WA Charters focuses on three key areas of support: community and family engagement, school leadership development, and services for new charter schools that open.