Charter schools are publicly funded and are not private schools. They are open to all students, are committed to improving public education, demonstrate a record of student achievement, and have specific educational missions and focuses.
Charter schools are public schools created by a group of parents, teachers, or community leaders who see an educational need in their community and want to meet that need. To operate, charter founders must submit an application for approval by the State Charter School Board or the board of a school district. Like other public schools, charter schools may serve students from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
Charter schools offer parents and students additional choices about where students attend school and the school’s curricular emphasis. They allow educators freedom to try new strategies to inspire students and to experiment with innovative ways of educating students. Also, charter schools allow individuals and organizations outside of the traditional education system to create and run public schools.
Besides offering choice in education, charter schools relieve some of the overcrowding in existing district schools without placing undue burdens on taxpayers. As non-profit organizations, charter schools raise funds or secure private financing for their facilities without bonds or tax levies. A charter school is one less school a district needs to bond for. Charter schools also contribute to the local levy by paying property tax, which remains with the school district since charter schools do not receive it as part of their funding.
As schools of choice, meaning parents choose them, charter schools provide a beneficial and healthy pressure within the public education system to be more responsive to parents and students, and to evaluate improvement. The presence of charter schools in a community often results in increased performance from all surrounding schools.
Charter schools typically engage local businesses and other organizations to help provide resources and services to the school and its families, and utilize volunteer service and parent involvement which saves money and encourages stronger working relationships among educators, parents and the community.
Charter schools utilize volunteer service and parent involvement combined with autonomous, community-based operations which saves money. Through the combined efforts and hard work of dedicated parents, teachers, and administrators, charter schools can use their funds effectively and creatively to educate students.
Yes! Similar to public schools, charter schools must be open to every child regardless of race, religion, disability, or academic ability. However, many charter schools have specific educational missions focusing on particular topics or students with particular needs. Also, charters have a cap on enrollment which limits the number of students the school can enroll. LLA will use a randomized lottery process for the enrollment and registration of students.
A Charter School becomes it’s own school district which provides greater flexibility in curriculum adoption, local input, more parental involvement, and a need to specialize in the academy’s area of chosen focus. Students tend to be motivated by an interest in the focus or teaching method of the school instead of proximity to the nearest traditional public school. Charter Schools have a cap on enrollment legislated by the State of Utah, which leads to more flexibility in the classroom.
Students must be five (5) years old on or before September 1st to enroll in Kindergarten.
No. Charter schools are public schools and as such may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make monetary contributions (although donations are accepted and appreciated). Charter schools are subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools.
Charter schools are funded on the principle that state funds follow the student. A differentiated Weighted Pupil Unit (“WPU”) is applied to Charter School students. In distributing funds under the Minimum School Program Act, to charter schools, charter school pupils are weighted, where applicable, as follows:
The vast majority of funding comes through the WPU. In addition, the legislature appropriates funds each year to replace some of the local property tax revenues that are not available to charter schools. Charter schools may also apply for state and federal start-up funds and specialized funds if qualifying students are served in approved programs.
A charter school may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make donations and is subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools.
Utah public schools are partially funded from revenue collected through property taxes. Much of the state of Utah, however, is federal land and property tax revenues are not collected from federal lands. The U.S. Congress, in exchange for not taxing federal land, gave lands to Utah schools at statehood to help compensate for the lost property tax revenue. The lands are held in a legal trust for Utah public schools. Utah public schools own 3.3 million acres of Utah land. The lands are managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration and must, by law, be used to generate money for public schools. The money is put in a permanent savings account, which is never spent, but invested by Utah’s State Treasurer. An Investment Advisory Committee appointed by education representatives act in an advisory capacity to the State Treasurer. The interest earned from the permanent fund now goes to each public school in the state. School and district-level committees prepare plans, approved by local school boards that identify an academic need and a proposed solution using the annual dividend. Distribution of the funds is based upon student enrollment numbers. The program reimburses schools based upon the previous school year’s enrollment.
Parent involvement is a crucial element in student success. Leadership Learning Academy asks that families volunteer a minimum of thirty (30) hours per academic year. Please note this expectation is per family, and not based on the number of students enrolled per family.
Yes. Charter Schools are public schools and therefore have the same requirements as all Utah State public schools in regards to student testing.
Consistent with all public schools in Utah, all of our teachers will be licensed, certified teachers or be qualified to teach under the USOE’s Alternative Route to Licensure Program, or otherwise authorized through the Utah State Office of Education. Charter schools hire from the same pool of qualified, certified teachers that the district uses. Some of the teachers at the charter school may be former district teachers with years of valuable experience.
The enrollment of LLA is limited to a specific capacity, making a year-round schedule unnecessary. LLA will operate on a standard school schedule of 180 days per school year.
Leadership Learning Academy enrollment is open to students from communities near and far, consequently, transportation cannot be provided by the school or the local school district. With the exception of field trips, parents are responsible for the transportation of their student to and from the school and are encouraged to participate in carpools.
Charter school Board Membes are volunteers that donate hundreds of hours to further the cause of providing a quality education for students and address unmet needs in the educational system. Board Members receive no compensation for their service.
Further information about charter schools can be found at the following websites: