Both traditional public schools and charter schools are supported by local, state, and federal funds and do not cost anything to attend. Both sets of schools are responsible for teaching approved California State Curriculum Standards, administering state testing, and adhering to any conditions as required by any of their local, state, or federal funding. Like traditional public schools, charter schools cannot consider gender, race, ethnicity, or religion in the admissions process.
California allows charter schools more flexibility than traditional public schools to be responsive to community needs and foster innovative and creative approaches to teaching and learning. By state law, charter schools are allowed to set their own programmatic vision and decide how they want to allocate their allotted budget under the oversight of a local governance structure (or board), as opposed to traditional public schools within a school district whose program and some portion of their budget allocation is determined by the district. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools go through a review and renewal process every five years.