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4 Things to Know About Arizona Charter Schools

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There are a variety of reasons you might be looking into local charter schools. Maybe you just moved to a new neighborhood and are researching different education options near you, or maybe your child is not reaching their full potential at their current school. 

Charter schools are an increasingly common choice for Arizona families, but many parents do not fully understand what they are. Here are four key facts about charter schools in Arizona. 

1. They’ve been around for over 25 years 

The first charter school law in Arizona was passed in 1994. Following this legislation, charter schools began cropping up in the state as an alternative to traditional public schools. In 1998, BASIS Charter Schools opened its first school in Tucson, Arizona. 

Today, there are over 500 charter schools in Arizona serving over 214,000 students, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Approximately one in five public school students in Arizona attend a charter school. 

2. They are tuition-free  

Charter schools are a type of public school. Like any public school, they are free to attend and do not have specific requirements for admission. 

Charter schools are funded through taxpayer dollars, similar to any other public school. The main difference between charter schools and traditional public schools is how they are managed. Charter schools are operated by independent organizations instead of by the state. This gives charter schools more freedom over things like curricula, staffing, and budgeting. 

3. They are held to high academic standards  

Charter schools are required to follow the same academic standards as traditional public schools. In addition, they are required to meet performance standards set by their local charter school authorizer (in Arizona, this authorizer is usually the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools). If a charter school fails to meet the performance benchmarks outlined by their authorizing agency, they run the risk of being shut down. 

Because the performance of charter schools is so closely scrutinized, they often follow an accelerated or advanced curriculum that helps students to achieve at competitive levels. Charter schools may also offer a wider range of subjects than a traditional public school. 

For example, BASIS Charter Schools follow a STEM-infused, liberal arts curriculum that prepares students for success in college and beyond. 

4. They are among the best charter schools in the U.S. 

Arizona is home to some of the highest-ranked charter schools in the nation. U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 list of Best Charter High Schools features seven Arizona charter schools in the top 10. These seven Arizona schools are all part of the BASIS Charter Schools network. 


For more information on BASIS Charter Schools, visit enrollBASIS.com. From here, you can find a school near you, sign up for a school tour, and subscribe to our newsletter.

BASIS Charter Schools
7975 N. Hayden Rd., Suite 202 Scottsdale, AZ 85258
(480) 289 2088





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