When it comes to the topic of school choice in America, charter schools are often brought up.
But what exactly is a charter school?
It's a public school that is funded by taxpayers, but it’s independently run and can be started by almost anyone, including parents, community leaders or even a district itself.
The schools have a lot of freedom and essentially answer only to their authorizers, which can be a school district or even an independent organization, depending on the state.
The students are chosen at random, essentially by a lottery.
Proponents of charter schools say students can get a better education, without having to shell out money to a private school. They can also be more flexible and innovative since charters don't always have to follow the same regulations as a district school.
However, critics don't think they live up to the hype of being a better option for students. They think they lack the proper oversight, have too much unchecked power and drain money away from the poorest schools in the area.
The number of charter schools continues to be on the rise and with the current administration championing them; they likely aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Cartoon courtesy of The NOW’s Nick Refuerzo and Newsy’s Eugene Daniels.