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Charter Schools vs Traditional Public Schools: What’s the Difference

July 1, 2021

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As you read this article, you’ll learn about the differences between charter schools and traditional public schools:

  • Public schools have strict regulations that charter schools are free from
  • Charter schools accept students from different neighborhoods, while public school students are limited by district

If you’re enrolling a child in Crystal, MN, you have a few choices: private, public, or charter. Private schools can be costly and selective, which means traditional public and charter schools are more accessible. But which one will work best for your child? Let’s break down the differences to find out.

How Do They Work?

Since both charter and public schools receive government funding, they have several things in common:

  • They must meet state-set standards
  • They’re free
  • They accept all students

However, when you decide which education system is suitable for your child, the differences are what count.

Traditional Public Schools

The student body in public schools is primarily determined by location. Areas are divided into districts, and students usually attend the nearest school in their district. For example, if you live in Crystal, MN, your children will probably be in the Robbinsdale Public Schools District. 

Charter Schools

Charter schools, on the other hand, don’t have geographic limitations. So as long as you’re able to get your children to campus, they can attend. Charter schools also don’t have the same regulations as public schools, though they must meet state accountability standards to ensure they’re delivering quality education.

What are the Benefits?

The differences between public and charter schools mean they have varying benefits to offer. Which is more appealing depends on what you want for your children.

Traditional Public Schools

Students attending public schools can experience these benefits:

  • Teachers with tenure and over 20 years’ experience.
  • Assurance that the school won’t close suddenly
  • Built-in communities due to close connections between neighborhoods and schools

Charter Schools

Benefits of charter schools include the following:

  • Innovative teaching
  • High-quality education as the school competes for students
  • Freedom from restrictive state legislation

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a School?

Finally, let’s talk about factors outside academics. While high test scores are a good indicator of students’ college readiness, school as a whole offers experiences beyond grading. So as you review school options, you should look at diversity, class size, and specialization alongside graduation rates and test scores.


A diverse student body helps kids learn about people from different backgrounds and can decrease stereotyped thinking. In this respect, charter schools have the chance to one-up public schools, as their students can be from a wide variety of locations, whereas public schools have a makeup similar to the surrounding area.

Class Size

The smaller the class, the more time teachers can devote to individual students. Charter schools usually offer smaller class sizes since they’re able to cap enrollment. Public schools, on the other hand, continue to accept students even when they’re in overcapacity.


Is your child interested in science or art? Then charter schools may be the best fit.

Charter schools have more power over curriculum, which means they can offer specialized education. For example, if your kids want careers in engineering, they can attend a charter school that focuses on STEM.

If you’re looking for a charter school in Crystal, MN, Beacon Academy is one of the best in the area. We’re dedicated to helping children grow as young academics and compassionate people. To learn more about our campus and curriculum or start the enrollment process, give us a call at 763-546-9999 or contact us online.