Welcome to Charter Schools

Overview

Charter schools are tuition-free public schools open to any Utah student. A public school is defined as a school that is open to the public, funded by the public, and accountable to the public. Charter schools meet all three tests.

Charter Schools are governed by independent boards and held accountable to a legally binding written contractual agreement with their authorizer. It is this charter agreement that allows for the operation of the charter school.

Charters 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.

Notification

The State Charter School Board (SCSB) has moved its website to another domain. This Charter Schools webpage provides information for all Charter Schools in Utah, regardless of the Charter Authorizer (Refer to Charter Schools by Authorizer).

Funding

Charter Schools are funded:

  • on the principle that state funds follow the student
  • they receive appropriate portions of local money from the school districts in which the Charter School students reside
  • they may apply for state and federal start-up funds
  • they may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make donations
  • is subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools

Funding Resources and Applications
Utah State Charter School Board (SCSB)

Charter Authorizers

A charter authorizer is an entity approved by the Utah State Legislature to bring charter schools into existence. Authorizers set up application processes and approve or deny charter school applications. Most importantly, authorizers are accountable for managing and monitoring their charter schools' academic record and organizational viability, while also ensuring that they are in compliance with all applicable laws.

Charter Schools by Authorizer

The following entities may authorize a charter school:

  • Utah State Charter School Board (SCSB)
  • Any local school board
  • A board of trustees of one of the following higher education institutions:
  • Dixie State University
  • Salt Lake Community College (SLCC)
  • Snow College
  • Southern Utah University
  • The Board of Directors of a Utah Technical College
  • University of Utah
  • Utah State University
  • Utah Valley University
  • Weber State University

Legislation/Regulation

As public schools Utah Charter Schools must comply with all federal and state legislation and federal regulations. Charter Schools are also responsible to comply with all State Board rules except those specifically waived in their charter.

Resources