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What is a Charter School?

Many people confuse charter schools with private schools. They are actually free public schools, just like any neighborhood school, and teachers must hold full California Teaching Credentials. Charter schools are held to higher accountability standards in exchange for flexibility in the design of their program. Teachers, administrators, and parents have much more control over the direction of the school, and a feeling of shared responsibility provides a sense of commitment, which many times can be missing from traditional public schools.
A charter school is a free public school initiated by teachers, parents, and community members. It is sponsored by a public school district, but is largely independent. Charter schools are generally exempt from most laws that apply to regular public schools, so administrators, faculty, staff and parents have considerable autonomy in designing an educational program, facilities and budget that meet the needs of their students. In exchange for this increased autonomy, charter schools are held much more strictly accountable than most non-charter public schools.
Redding STEM Academy (R-STEM) is sponsored by the Shasta County Office of Education, but operates under the guidance of its own school board and administration. The emphasis of R-STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.