Charter schools offer hope for the future of our public education system. Charter schools promise options and opportunities for students and their parents that include diverse curricula — arts and humanities, career and vocational choices. They have unique delivery systems — distance learning, Montessori programs, special needs, and a mix of accelerated traditional and university courses. All meet high standards; all are accountable; all are independent and are defined as public schools, although with a new, expanded concept of public schools.
There are 25 charter schools in Nevada, two in Carson City, several in Washoe, Douglas and Lyon counties. (Nationally there are over 3,000 charter schools and the movement is fast growing.) Charter school growth has not been as robust in this state as in others, but it continues to receive support from the Legislature. In this legislative session there is a bill (AB489), that if passed will create an 18th school district for charter schools and will enable this new school district to authorize new charters.
I serve on the Silver State Charter High School Board in Carson City. This charter, a public school sponsored by the State Board of Education, is a distance learning school in which students interact with their teachers online as well as meet with them in person. The state has identified the school as “exemplary.” It is well managed and has a dedicated, licensed faculty and support staff. This charter school is a life-saver for over 500 kids and their parents.