Parenting on Purpose:  Charter Schools, Part 3

In our seven-part series, we have been taking a closer look at charter schools.  We discussed How They Work in Part 1 and Who Runs Them?  in Part 2.  In this part, we will look at, Are Charter Schools Non-profit?

The answer is, it depends.  Most charter schools are nonprofit. However, some states allow nonprofit charter management organizations or CMOs to run the school.  Some states also allow for-profit companies called education management organizations or EMOs to run charter schools.  It isn’t apparent because the school itself may be nonprofit, but the company that runs it may be for-profit.  The parent for-profit company often provides school services that are not charged directly.  Services can include human resources services, like hiring teachers and staff, facility maintenance, curriculum services, and other such areas.

More extensive charter school networks include KIPP, Success Academy, state online schools.  Parents, organizations, companies, universities, corporations, and all sorts of combinations can start charter schools.  They may focus on specific skills like math and science, self-esteem, or a particular set of values.  I always like to encourage parents to be very familiar with the governance structure and the philosophy behind a charter school.  Be familiar with the philosophy or the school; otherwise, they can discover teaching concepts that do not align with their beliefs.   In 2016 there were over 7,000 charter schools in the United States.  Their popularity has grown tremendously.

According to state law, charter schools are either for-profit or not-for-profit entities.  It does not generally make any difference to the student part of the equation you choose.  If the academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities agree with you as a parent, then you are almost there.

In Part 4, we will look at the funding of Charter Schools.  I believe you will find this series helpful in deciding for your kids.  Here is the link, How Are Charter Schools Funded? – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Interested in starting a charter school?  Here is a link to get you started on Funding Opportunities, Funding Opportunities | NCSRC (

Yours for better parenting,