For Schools & Petitioners
Charter Schools are tuition-free public schools that are open to any student who wishes to attend without admission requirements. By law, charter schools must admit all students who wish to attend the school and must institute a public lottery for admissions if the number of students interested in attending the school exceeds the school’s capacity.
Within this broad framework, it is important for schools to ensure that admission practices or preferences do not unlawfully favor or discourage any particular student or parent group. State and Federal law prohibit charter schools from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender or disability..
Charter schools adhere to the same open admission and enrollment standards as traditional public schools. With the exception of certain allowable admissions preferences, charter schools may not select their students, nor deny admission to any applicant provided that there is space for that student within the school’s capacity.
Charter schools define their own attendance zone as specified in their charter contract. Enrollment preference is given to students who live within the charter school’s defined attendance zone. If seats are not filled after students within the attendance zone are admitted, the school may open up enrollment to any student living within the school district in which the charter school is located.
Resources on Charter School Lotteries
For Parents & Guardians
When to Apply
It is critically important to contact the charter schools you are interested in for information about application deadlines, attendance zones, necessary supporting documents and admissions policies regarding siblings. The earlier in the school year parents and guardians inquire, the better prepared they will be to complete the process within required deadlines.
To find out the attendance zone of a specific charter school, contact the school directly or visit the school’s website. The school’s authorizer will also have this information. This may be the district in which the charter school is located or the Georgia Charter Schools Commission.
Charter schools, as public schools, must serve students with special needs.