We believe the opportunity to educate students is a privilege and a public trust

Since 2003, Tennessee public charter schools have become one of the most successful and impactful approaches to transforming educational opportunities and outcomes. Charter schools are public schools, but unique in that they are allowed the freedom and flexibility to be more innovative in their approach to educating children but still held accountable for advancing student achievement. Because they are public schools, charter schools are:

  • Free
  • Open to ALL children
  • Do not have special entrance requirements

In exchange for the autonomy public charter schools are afforded, they are also held highly accountable for the academic, operational and financial performance of the schools they run and must meet the same local, state and federal regulations as their fellow district-run counterparts.

So, what makes charters different?


Parents want what is best for their children. When quality options do not exist or are not meeting the needs of their student, parents have the opportunity to find better. Charter schools empower families to choose a public, tuition-free school other than their traditional zoned school, if it is a better fit for their child(ren).


All students in Tennessee deserve access to a high-quality education. Tennessee’s charter schools are raising the bar of excellence and rank as some of the top-performing schools across the state.


Charter schools are student-focused. While each charter school is unique, they all place high expectations on academic achievement; focus on college and career preparation; emphasize character development and welcome parent engagement.


Teachers and leaders are empowered to be innovative and responsive to student needs. Flexibility allows schools to “think outside the box” when it comes to school-based decisions such as curriculum, school schedule and extracurricular offerings.


Charter schools answer to communities, parents, and the local school district. Tennessee charters are evaluated on how well they meet student achievement goals and how effectively they manage day-to-day operations.

Still have questions?

Check out our FAQs for answers to some of the most common questions about charter schools


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