What is a Charter School?
A charter school is a tuition-free public school that is privately managed with its own board of directors. It operates under a contract (or charter) with a school district, and that contract frees the charter school from some of the restrictions of a standard public school. It is open to all children eligible to attend public school in the county in which it is located. The first charter school in America opened in Minnesota in 1992, and, since then, over 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have laws allowing the creation of charter schools.
Florida Charter Schools are publicly funded schools of choice. There are currently over 650 charter schools operating in the state, educating more than 300,000 Florida students. According to the Florida Department of Education, charter school students generally outperform traditional public school students on key metrics of student achievement, including closing the achievement gap.
Charter schools in Florida are funded on a per pupil basis and receive about two-thirds the per-student funding of traditional public schools. At this time, charter schools only receive state funds for students with little or no local district funding. Charter schools cover operational, capital, and indirect costs with the same amount of funding that standard public schools receive only for operational costs.
Optima Classical Academy at Estero’s founding members are dedicated local citizens who were interested in providing the best education available to as many students as possible.