The Guide to Tuition-Free Public Charter Schools in Berkeley, California
Are you looking at school options for your child in Berkeley?
You may not know it, but there are great public school options that you have may not have considered. Tuition-free public charter schools provide unique learning approaches that are an excellent fit for many children.
One of our goals for GoToCharterSchool.com is to make the enrollment process as simple as possible by providing accurate information for parent’s most frequently asked questions.
This guide will provide answers to questions like, “What is a tuition-free public school?”, “What tuition-free public school options are available in Berkeley?” and “How do I enroll my student in charter school?”
If you are looking for answers to questions like these, read on!
What is a tuition-free public charter school in California?
A charter school is a public school that provides instruction in any combination of grades, kindergarten through grade twelve. Parents, teachers, or community members may initiate a charter petition, which is typically presented to and approved by a local school district governing board. California Education Code (EC) also allows, under certain circumstances, for county boards of education and the State Board of Education to be charter authorizing entities.
Charter schools are public schools that get funding from the state and have greater flexibility in hiring, curriculum, management and other aspects of their operations. Unlike traditional public schools that are run by school districts with an elected school board and a board-appointed superintendent, most charter schools are run by organizations with their own self-appointed boards.
In general, this independence gives charter schools more room to experiment and to come up with instructional and other innovations.
What tuition-free public charter schools are available for students living in Berkeley?
REALM Charter School is a tuition-free public charter in Berkeley with both a Middle School and High School. REALM Charter School is a learning community founded on the principles of Love, Grit, and Action. REALM serves students in grades 6-12 with a focus on college preparedness, project-based learning, and social justice.
1222 UNIVERSITY AVE
BERKELEY, CA 94702
Learn more about REALM Charter School
The California Department of Education also provides a charter school finder on their website for you to search for additional charter school options.
What other counties and locations in California are served by tuition-free public charter schools in Berkeley?
Students enrolling in a charter school are not restricted to a certain county or school district. Parents may choose the school that they feel is most appropriate for their child. Charter schools in California must admit any child residing in the state who is qualified to attend California schools regardless of which school district the child resides in.
How do I enroll my child in a tuition-free public charter school?
Charter schools often require an application. Most applications require specific information, including name, address, birth date, name of last school attended, and ethnic background.
If you are considering enrolling your child in a charter school, you should pay close attention to any deadlines regarding that school’s enrollment policy. Some charter schools, particularly those in high demand, will have a waitlist.
Because enrollment policies and procedures vary from school to school, families should contact individual charter schools to obtain specific enrollment information.
What are the requirements for acceptance into a charter school in Berkeley?
By law, charter schools cannot have admission processes that unlawfully discriminate against students. Charter schools accept all students who want to attend. If there are more students who want to attend than there are seats available, a charter school will use a process to randomly select students, oftentimes a lottery system.
How much does it cost to attend a charter school?
Public charter schools are public schools and are tuition-free. Funding for the schools comes from the state.
Are public charter schools high quality?
- Studies continue to show charter school students make greater academic progress than students in traditional public schools. Sixty-seven (67) percent of California’s charter schools met student achievement targets on state tests in the 2009-10 school year compared to just 57% of non-charter schools.
- Among traditionally disadvantaged students, those attending charters make greater academic progress than those in traditional public schools. In 2009-10, 74% of charter schools met student achievement targets for disadvantaged students* compared to 59% of non-charter schools. (*these are calculated by assessing California Department of Education “comparable improvement targets”)
- California’s charter middle schools consistently demonstrate higher academic performance than non-charter schools. For the past five years, charter middle schools have had higher API Growth scores than non-charter middle schools. In 2009-10, middle school charters outperformed non-charters across the state and with all subgroups.