School Choice –> Interdistrict –> CHARTER SCHOOLS

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Charter Schools1

As one of the options within the Interdistrict school track, charter schools are public, non-profit school systems that are not run by the “local or regional board of education.”2 Charter schools are giving students better options to attend public schools with independence from the individual area school boards.  Also, similar to the magnet schools and open choice program in the area, Charter schools want to decrease racial, ethnic, and cultural separation in Hartford public schools.  Charter schools also aim to provide new and creative ways of educating students.  The Connecticut State Department of Education has a brochure3 that includes some frequently asked questions regarding charter schools, as well as a comprehensive list of all of the charter schools in the area.
Charter school choice has the same application and lottery process as Open Choice does.  The family fills out an application for the student who wishes to attend a Hartford charter school, and they are placed in a lottery.  If the student’s number is chosen, they are able to choose which charter school they wish to go to.  If their number is not called, parents must fill out a new application for the next school year and try again. The application for the Charter schools4 is a much larger document with step-by-step instructions of how to follow the process.
The Charter schools have some limitations with applicant numbers that could potentially affect whether or not a student gets into the lottery.  For example, “No state charter school may enroll more than 250 students or 25 percent of the enrollment of the school district in which the state charter school is to be located, whichever is less, except in the case of a kindergarten to eighth-grade school, which may enroll up to 300 students.”5 According to this same document, transportation is provided to students by the local district’s board of education.  For example, if a student lives in Avon but applies to a Charter school in Hartford, the Hartford public school district is responsible for busing that student to and from school everyday at no cost to the family.  The Charter schools are a great choice for families and students who are looking to achieve a new and more independent outlook on teaching and education.

  1. “SDE: Charter Schools,” Connecticut State Department of Education, 2011,
  2. “SDE: Charter Schools,” Connecticut State Department of Education, 2011,
  3. “Choose Success! Public School Choice for Students and Their Families” (Connecticut State Department of Education, 2012 2011),
  4. Mark McQuillan, “Application Packet for the Development of State and Local Charter Schools” (Connecticut State Department of Education Office of the Commissioner Hartford, 2011),
  5. “SDE: Charter Schools,” Connecticut State Department of Education, 2011,