Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS A CHARTER SCHOOL?
A charter school allows parents the choice of a free, public education for their child. Students are educated in an environment that is similar to private education, but there is no tuition charged.
Charter Schools have a governing School Board that is comprised of community leaders and parents. Charter Schools receive their funding from the State and Federal Governments in much the same way other public schools do. For a comparison of Charter Schools to Public and Private Schools, click here .
The Ogden Preparatory Academy (OPA) is a public charter school located in Downtown Ogden for students in grades K-9. OPA opened in the fall of 2003. Our class sizes are no more than 25 students per class.
No. A charter school is part of the public education system and must be open to all students, without discrimination, on the same basis as other public schools. If the number of students applying to enroll in a charter school exceeds the capacity of the school or of programs, classes, or grade levels within the school, then those students to be admitted are chosen at random from among the applicants, subject to certain preferences:
Yes. In addition to the Ogden School District's Student Dress and Grooming Expectations, students are required to wear uniforms. The Governing Board has drafted an acceptable and legal uniform policy. Parents are notified of uniform requirements prior to enrollment and all uniform regulations are detailed in the Parent Handbook .
Teachers are required to follow the same dress code as the students.
As a general rule, yes. Laws and regulations relating to religion in the schools, school fees and tuition, health and safety, civil rights, annual reports, prohibitions against advocacy of unlawful behavior, screening of potential employees or volunteers for competency and fitness, and most other matters are the same for both charter schools and other public schools. The State Board may waive any of its rules for a charter school or other public school, if the school applies for a waiver and the State Board finds that the waiver would not violate applicable law or cause harm to students or the school.
A charter school is exempt from existing negotiated agreements relating to the hiring, employment, and dismissal of employees. A charter school's governing body may determine the level of compensation and the terms and conditions of employment for its employees. Charter schools may only employ educators who hold valid teaching certificates or who meet State Board requirements for alternative certification or authorization.
A charter school must make the same annual reports as other public schools, including an annual financial audit and monthly budget report. Additionally, the charter school must participate in the statewide testing programs. Charter schools submit all reports to the Utah State Board of Education.
Charter schools are funded on the principle that state funds follow the student. A differentiated WPU is applied to Charter School students. In distributing funds under the Minimum School Program Act, to charter schools, charter school pupils shall be weighted, where applicable, as follows:
The vast majority of funding comes through the WPU. In addition, the legislature appropriates funds each year to replace some of the local property tax revenues that are not available to charter schools. Charter schools may also apply for state and federal start-up funds and specialized funds if qualifying students are served in approved programs.
A charter school may not charge tuition or require students or parents to make donations and is subject to the same rules regarding school fees as other public schools.
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