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Programs > Charter Schools > Docs
Purpose of Charter Schools
The Maryland Public Charter School Act was passed into law on May 22, 2003. The general purpose of the Charter School program is to establish an alternative means within the existing public school system in order to provide innovative learning opportunities and creative educational approaches to improve the education of students.

Maryland’s law defines a public charter school as a public school that is nonsectarian, is chosen by parents for their children and is open to all students on a space available basis. A public charter school can be either a newly created school or a conversion of an already operating public school. A public charter school operates with the approval of a local board of education in accordance with a written Charter Agreement executed between the local board of education and the administrative entity operating the public charter school.

Just as any other public school, a public charter school is subject to federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination and must comply with all applicable health and safety laws. In addition, a public charter school must meet a range of requirements that include financial accountability and standards for student academic achievement.


Contact Information
Mr. Dorian Barnes, Charter Schools Coordinator
Office of School Innovations
Division of Student, Family, and School Support
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: (410) 767-0366
Fax: (410) 333-8010
dbarnes@msde.state.md.us
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