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2023 Guide to Charter Schools in Oakland, California

Charter school enrollment is growing. Since the first charter school opened in St. Paul, Minnesota, charter schools have served over 12 million students. Charter schools' uniqueness makes them a popular choice with many families.

You want what is best for your child and are looking for a different approach to education. A charter school might be the answer for you and your family. This article will help answer some questions about enrolling at a tuition-free public charter school.

How are charter schools different from public schools in Oakland, CA?

A charter school is similar to a traditional public school as it also offers education to kids in pre-kindergarten to grade 12. Community members such as guardians, parents, and teachers can petition for a new charter school to be opened.

Often, the governing board of the local school district evaluates and approves petitions for the opening of a new charter school. According to the Education Code (EC) of California, the county boards of education and the State Board of Education can be the authorizing organizations for charter school petitions.

You can apply and enroll your children in a tuition-free, public charter school, even outside your school district. Oakland charter schools do not have to comply with boundary school rules. Thus, parents can choose the charter school of choice and not worry about breaking district rules. California charter schools can admit any child residing in the state.

As opposed to public district schools, there is a high possibility of seeing your child's name on the school's waitlist, especially if you applied to a sought-after charter school. Many charter schools receive more applications than their capacities allow. Schools with more applicants than they can take in usually employ a random selection process. The lottery system is a commonly used selection technique by many charter schools.

Are charter schools public schools in Oakland, CA?

Another similarity between charter schools and traditional public schools is the funding source. The state funds both schools. These two school types differ in their administration and management. Charter schools enjoy more flexibility in how they run their schools, such as areas of interest, hiring, and curriculum management.

Elected school boards, school districts, and their board-appointed superintendents oversee traditional public schools, whereas an entity manages charter schools under the supervision of their self-appointed board. This means charter schools have more independence than usual public schools, which allows them to make their own rules and to customize the education experience based on interests and educational philosophies.

Are charter schools free in Oakland, CA?

Yes. California's charter schools are tuition-free, public, and open to all students. The enrollment process of charter schools is highly similar to other school types. They require an application where parents must provide information about the child, such as name, address, birth date, ethnic background, and the last school attended.

The parent or guardian is responsible for checking the charter schools’ application and enrollment deadlines, along with the school's specific enrollment rules, policies, and requirements. Charter schools may have different rules and processes, but all their admission rules must comply with state laws. According to California laws, charter schools cannot implement policies that unlawfully discriminate against their applicants.

How are charter schools funded in Oakland, CA?

Both public and charter schools receive funding based on the number of students that are enrolled each year. While district schools receive funding from federal, state, and local governments, charter school funding comes mainly from the state and a small amount from the local government.

Are charter schools better in Oakland, CA?

It depends on the school. When it comes to standardized testing, charter schools and traditional public schools perform similarly. Charter schools show much improvement for low-income students, in fact, better than conventional public schools.

Charter schools really shine when you look at what makes them distinct. Each charter school started to offer something different than local district schools. It may be in the classes offered, class size, educational philosophy, or a focus on fine arts or engineering. Each charter school is unique, and you can find out what makes the charter schools local to you so special.

What is a good public charter school in Oakland, CA?

Our recommendation is Aurum Preparatory Academy (Aurum Prep), an outstanding student-centered middle school with an optimistic and positive culture. Each Friday, we recognize student achievement in grades 6-8 during our school wide student town hall. Different students are celebrated each week with our Gold Scholar award for academic achievement and Growth Scholar award which celebrates personal growth.

In addition to celebrating students, we focus on character education and rigorous academics in middle school as we prepare students for highschool and beyond. We promise to educate every student for a college degree and a life of ethical leadership from the moment they enter our doors.

Classes at Aurum Prep have an average student to teacher ratio of 12:1, allowing us to directly support each of our students. We prioritize making time for, and meeting the individual needs of each and every student. e also strive for a personalized connection with each of our students with personal greetings each morning and a school psychologist to support student mental health.

About Aurum Prep

Aurum Preparatory Academy, located in Oakland, California, teaches college preparation, character development, and design thinking to all our scholars. Through rigorous instruction and positive character education, Aurum Prep educates all students in grades 6 through 8 to succeed in high school, college, and life, and serve as the next generation of moral leaders. Enroll your middle school student today.

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