What is a Charter School?

A better look at charter schools

SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WHAS11) -- The halls are lined with lockers, filled with the sounds of students bustling between classes broken by the shrill screech of the bell. Rock Creek Community Academy in Sellersburg looks and sounds like many other schools, but there is something different.

"We do things a little differently because we try to have a lot of fun with everything we do," Superintendent and Principal Sara Hauselman said.

Rock Creek Community Academy is one of two charter schools in this area of Southern Indiana, converting from a Christian school to a charter school about eight years ago, with more charter schools possibly coming to Kentuckiana with new legislation paving the way. With this new possibility on the horizon, many are asking, "What is a charter school?"

"Well that's the most famous question that there is," Hauselman said.

Like other charter schools, Rock Creek is publically funded with the school receiving money from the state based on the number of students that attend. Unlike public schools, charter schools do not receive funding for items like facilities and transportation.

"It's still a lot less money than you get in a corporation public school, so you have to deal with that," Hauselman said. "And we just do."

Some have raised concerns about Kentucky's new legislation, which is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin, arguing the creation of charter schools will affect the quality of education and funding, creating competition between charter schools and public school districts. While Hauselman acknowledges such issues do exist, she said she has never had a problem at Rock Creek.

"We get along great with them. We work together and we do a lot of things together," she said. "They do not see us as a threat, nor do we see them as one."

According to Hauselman, the charter school model can help give children and families more options. The smaller class sizes can help create a more tailored educational experience for students, while teachers are able to use more innovative techniques and tools in their classrooms.

"Every child does not fit in the same box, so it gives school choice," she said. "It gives an option."

 

 

 

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