What is a Public Charter School?

Like traditional schools run by DC Public Schools, public charter schools are public, tuition-free, and open to all DC residents. 

Both traditional and public charter schools are committed to quality education.  

Traditional schools are run by a central authority — the chancellor of DC Public Schools. 

In contrast, public charter schools are run by nonprofits, under agreements approved by the DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB). 


The Power of Public Charter Schools







Public charter schools are public schools where students can excel academically and mature emotionally.

These are the institutions that help students learn and grow — where they can be the first in their family to graduate

and then be accepted to college or head to success in the workforce. 

It’s where they can strive to be their best, learn to work in teams, and gain the skills they will need to do well in life. 





Choice means that families can pick from dozens of unique public charter schools that offer new, innovative and different

approaches to learning. Some employ very structured educational environments.  

Others focus on language immersion, blended learning, Montessori, expeditionary learning, adult education programs and much more.  





Public charter schools are free to attend.

Like other public schools, they receive funding from the city, not tuition from families.


Where do they come from?


Public charter schools are started by nonprofits that apply for a charter through our Board

Although the mission of each school may vary depending on its academic focus area, 

all public charter schools must demonstrate academic success.



Contact us here for more information or read the FAQ here.