Earlier this month, schools across the country celebrated National Charter Schools Week. This commemoration comes 20 years after Minnesota passed the first state charter school law and City Academy in St. Paul became the first charter school to open its doors. Since then, 40 more states and the District of Columbia have adopted some form of charter school legislation, providing new options to parents who are seeking a choice in their children’s education.

Ursula Wright of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) described the basic goal of charters: “Every parent and every family should be an informed customer…Based on the specific needs of their child, [parents] should identify which schools would provide the environments that would allow their child to flourish.”

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