Charter Schools

What is a charter school?

A charter school is a public school open to children in their given district. Charter schools are free and don’t charge tuition.

Charters implement the same standards as traditional public schools, but have the flexibility to use different teaching styles so students can reach their full academic potential.

What are the pros/cons?


  • Typically a close knit community since applicants chose to attend for a common reason
  • Smaller school and class size
  • Parental involvement is encouraged giving charter schools a family atmosphere
  • Not a one-size-fits-all education
  • Less discipline problems
  • Siblings get priority in future lotteries for a charter
  • Short application
  • Some charter schools take students from multiple districts


  • Most charters require uniforms which the parents will have to buy
  • Parents usually have to provide transportation
  • Smaller charter schools don’t offer as many sports or extracurricular activities as traditional schools
  • Applicants are selected by a lottery system
  • Different enrollment periods for each school

How best do I pursue this option?

1) Identify charter schools you would like your child to attend.

2) Call or check the charter schools website to confirm your eligibility and their application deadline.

3) Identify schools you would like your child to attend upon reviewing available school transfers.

The majority of Atlanta charter schools begin their application process in January.

Additional Resources

Atlanta Public School Charters – List of quick facts about the different charter schools in Atlanta including grades, date the school opened, and school contact information in one spot.

Blog: What Should You Know About Charter Schools? – Informative blog post on charter schools with a quick video about what they are and why you should consider one.

Blog: Charter Schools vs. Public Schools – In depth article about the differences between charter schools and public schools.