Charter School Facts

What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are independent, state funded public schools. We are able to be more innovative, while still being held accountable for improved student achievement. Public charter schools have become a vital part of Florida’s public education system since the first charter school opened in 1996. We are tuition-free public schools with certified teachers governed by an independent board of trustees. We must comply with the school-average size mandate and the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

All charter schools are public schools, funded through public tax dollars and grants. However, charter schools receive only 60-80% of what school districts actually generate on each public school student.

Charter schools are held strictly accountable by the Florida Department of Education and the Polk County School Board. The charter school difference has greater flexibility in certain areas such as curriculum in return for improved student achievement and fiscal management of public funds. The Schools of McKeel Academy have a technology education focus and use student-teacher-parent partnerships to drive academic excellence.