New Hampshire chartered public school are publicly funded, independent schools that operates under a charter with the state's Department of Education. Chartered public schools are open enrollment and tuition free to New Hampshire residents. As part of School Choice in New Hampshire they provide another option for parents and students looking for educational opportunities. Benefits include more flexibility in their curriculum, teaching methods, and organizational structure compared to traditional public schools.
Chartered public schools are accountable for meeting specific performance goals and sound fiscal practices. They receive public funding, but are governed by a nonprofit board. Chartered public schools provide families with additional educational options and represent a strong part of the School Choice landscape in New Hampshire.
The New Hampshire Charter School Foundation is a new organization formed to bring
together experts with experience in starting and running charter schools in order to help
new charter schools launch and existing charter schools excel.
We are led by a team of experienced charter school professionals with decades of experience in the development and operation of an array of successful charter schools in New Hampshire. Guidance, networking, and operational support are just the beginning.
The NHCSF looks forward to exploring and developing resources and services such as business management, finance, human resources, professional development, real estate management, purchasing, grant management, state Department of Education reporting, leadership & governance, and other services tailored for Charter Schools.
Ray Budde, a Massachusetts educator, had the original idea for charter schools in the 1970s. Groups of teachers would set up contracts or charters with their local school board to discover new approaches to education.
Then in the 1980’s Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, expanded the concept, setting up a “school within school” program or charter in Philadelphia.
By the 1990s states started passing their own charter school laws. The New Hampshire legislature passed the original charter school law in 1995 with one authorizer: the school board in the town where the school was to be located. However, it wasn’t until the State Board of Education was empowered to be a second authorizer in 2003 that the charter school movement started to take off. This, in addition to the first $5,000,000 federal grant in 2004, enabled charter schools to be established in the state.
The State of New Hampshire has two different models to fund public charter schools. We have two different types of charter schools in our state. The first and most common is an authorized public charter school approved by the State Board of Education and is funded by the state. The second type is referred to as a locally authorized charter school.
Public charter schools authorized by the State of New Hampshire are funded at $7,338 per pupil for the 2021-2022 academic year by the State of New Hampshire. This includes a state adequacy aid amount of $3,708.78 per pupil (based on 2019-2020 data) and the remaining amount is funded by the state. Authorized charter schools do not receive local property tax dollars or any local funding from the city/town they reside in. The average cost to educate a child in grades 1-12 is approximately $16,000, not including facility expenses. Charter schools receive 46% of traditional public school funding and must pay for facility expenses. This is a substantial difference with the additional burden of locating and funding a facility from the total amount of $7,338.
Locally authorized charter schools reside in the school district who approves them and must be funded at no less than 80% of the average cost per pupil by their local district. Locally authorized charter schools receive state and local funding.
Additional information regarding charter school funding can be found at RSA 194-B:11 I.(b)(1)(A).
Chartered public schools in New Hampshire are open enrollment for all students who reside within the state, regardless of their district or school zone. New Hampshire students can attend a New Hampshire chartered public school by applying directly to the school of their choice.
Enrollment may be subject to capacity limitations if the number of applicants exceeds available spaces, in which case blind lotteries may be used. Chartered public schools create their admission policy and share this with stakeholders, both current and future during the admissions process.
New Hampshire charter schools are free and open to all students who reside in the State of New Hampshire. Both types of charter schools, state authorized and locally authorized, must develop admissions policy in accordance with 194-B:3 II (o). State authorized charter schools may accept students from any city/town in New Hampshire. Locally authorized charter schools must give students from the local district who authorized them priority.
Both state authorized and locally authorized public charter schools are required to develop an admissions policy which includes the information to apply. In the event more students apply than either type of charter school can accept, a blind lottery will be held.
Some charter schools offer extracurricular activities. If a student is interested in an activity that is not offered at the charter school, the student is eligible to participate in the activity or sport in their home district.
Yes! Charter School Students are eligible for special education services that are provided and funded by the student’s home school district, according to the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
The Charter School is part of the IEP team and can advocate along with students and parents for effective services to be included in the IEP that the home school district provides.
The home school district can provide special education services directly, or it can hire a contractor or the Charter School to provide the services. Special Education Services are provided in the least restrictive environment, which often means the services are provided at the Charter School, rather than at a remote site or at the home district.
Charter Schools usually do not provide transportation to and from the school, however, for some students, transportation may be available for free from the school district in the town where the Charter School is located.
State law requires the school district where the charter school is located to provide transportation to students on the same terms and conditions as it provides services to its own students, and using its usual routes and schedules.
Determining whether a New Hampshire chartered public school is right for your child depends on several factors. Consider your child's learning style, educational needs, and personal preferences. Research and visit different chartered public schools to understand their curriculum, teaching methods, and overall educational approach. Read and evaluate if the school's mission aligns with your child's interests and goals. Additionally, consider the school's location, extracurricular activities, and available support services. Engage in conversations with school staff, parents, and students to gain insights.
Ultimately, the right chartered public school should provide an environment that nurtures your child's academic growth, promotes their interests, and meets their individual needs.
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