"C” is for Charter Schools
South Carolina law defines a charter school as a “public, non-sectarian, non-religious, non-home-based, nonprofit corporation forming a school which operated within a public school district.” Charter schools are semi-autonomous public schools that operate under a contract with local school boards for a charter of three years. In 1996 South Carolina became the 25th state to authorize charter schools. The schools are intended to improve learning, increase opportunities, encourage innovative teaching methods, establish new forms of accountability, create professional opportunities for teachers, and to generally assist South Carolina in reaching academic excellence.. In South Carolina and the nation, supporters of charter schools emphasize the ability to stimulate change in the public education system, create a competitive market to force change, and highlight autonomy as a means of facilitating innovative educational models.