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Charter schools are free public schools. They are funded under the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) which allocates state and local tax dollars to public education agencies based on the number of pupils in each grade level. Additional funding is provided for students with high needs, such as low-income pupils and English learners. Public funding generally follows the student to the public school the parents choose, whether a charter school or a traditional district school. When charter schools are funded, there is no overall loss of public school money because charter schools are public schools. Charter schools are open to all families and serve all students. There are no charter school boundaries/zones. Anyone from any city may attend. Many charter schools offer smaller classrooms than traditional schools and offer more flexible teaching/learning environments. California law gives charter schools autonomy and flexibility in exchange for increased accountability. Charter schools must be renewed at least every five years by the school district or authorizer to ensure they have good academic results, and that they are operating in a fiscally and operationally responsible manner.
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* 5 day a week charter schools are considered classroom based charters and usually have a traditional school campus.
*Anything less than 5 full days onsite a week is considered an independent study charter school. It can have a traditional school campus, but in most cases does not. Many times, the school is based out of another area, and it opens resource centers in various cities/counties to bring teachers and some onsite classes nearby. These charters typically rent out space from a shopping center, office complex, or church for their resource centers. One question to always ask is if there is outdoor space, recess, and a playground(if this is important to you) because many of the locations do not have outdoor space.
*While you may see a charter with onsite classes 1,2,3+ days a week - it does not necessarily mean the classes are core subject classes. Many times they are enrichment classes. These are independent study/homeschool charters so you'll need to ask if the onsite classes are core classes or if you as parent need to teach all core classes.
* Charters with a dollar sign ($) listed mean that the charter gives funds per child to order curriculum, take classes, use vendors. Range of funds is about $900 - $3,200 per year per child. More funds = more flexibility. Those without funds are charters that have a set curriculum for it's students.
*Charter school programs and options tend to change periodically. Please contact the charter school directly to confirm that the programs listed are accurate.
5 Days Onsite
(Classroom Based Charters)
100% Homeschool Charters
NOT based in East County
Open to all San Diego Residents
This section only includes charters that east county residents can enroll in that does not require you to go to their onsite location for any meetings. Go to the central, north, or south bay charter pages if you are open to seeing additional charter options. Before enrolling, ask the charter about the requirement of any onsite visits for learning period meetings and assessments and where annual state testing is taken.
If you've read this far you may be interested in more information on homeschool: