What is the difference between district schools, like DCPS, and public charter schools?

Like traditional schools run by DC Public Schools (DCPS), public charter schools are public, tuition-free, and open to all. Where they differ is that a central authority — the chancellor of DC Public Schools — runs traditional schools.  In contrast, public charter schools are run by non profits, under agreements approved by the DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB).

Another difference is that by definition, DCPS schools are neighborhood-based.  Students who live nearby are guaranteed admission, while, public charter schools are citywide schools with about half of the students attending a school outside of their home ward.