Arizona Charter School Law

Arizona Revised Statutes, Education Code §15-184

 Charter schools; admission requirements

A. A charter school shall enroll all eligible pupils who submit a timely application, unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level or building. A charter school shall give enrollment preference to pupils returning to the charter school in the second or any subsequent year of its operation and to siblings of pupils already enrolled in the charter school. A charter school that is sponsored by a school district governing board shall give enrollment preference to eligible pupils who reside within the boundaries of the school district where the charter school is physically located. A charter school may give enrollment preference to and reserve capacity for pupils who are children of employees of the school, employees of the charter holder, members of the governing body of the school or directors, officers, partners or board members of the charter holder or pupils who attended another charter school if the charter school previously attended by the pupil has identical charter holder, board and governing board membership as the enrolling charter school, provided that any school that elects to give such enrollment preferences shall be treated as a single charter school for the purpose of establishing their support level weights for purposes of section 15-943. If remaining capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils who submit a timely application, the charter school shall select pupils through an equitable selection process such as a lottery except that preference shall be given to siblings of a pupil selected through an equitable selection process such as a lottery.

B. Except as provided in subsection C or D, a charter school shall not limit admission based on ethnicity, national origin, gender, income level, disabling condition, proficiency in the English language or athletic ability.

C. A charter school may limit admission to pupils within a given age group or grade level.

D. A charter school may provide instruction to pupils of a single gender with the approval of the sponsor of the charter school. An existing charter school may amend its charter to provide instruction to pupils of a single gender, and if approved by the sponsor of the charter school, may provide instruction to pupils of a single gender at the beginning of the next school year.

E. A charter school shall admit pupils who reside in the attendance area of a school or who reside in a school district that is under a court order of desegregation or that is a party to an agreement with the United States department of education office for civil rights directed toward remediating alleged or proven racial discrimination unless notice is received from the resident school that the admission would violate the court order or agreement. If a charter school admits a pupil after notice is received that the admission would constitute such a violation, the charter school is not allowed to include in its student count the pupils wrongfully admitted.

F. A charter school may refuse to admit any pupil who has been expelled from another educational institution or who is in the process of being expelled from another educational institution.]

What is a charter school?

A charter school, such as The Rising School, is a privately run public school. The Rising School is a non-profit operation that is owned and operated by Rising Schools, Inc. (Some charter schools are operated as profit-making operations.)

How do charter schools differ from ordinary public schools?

Like ordinary public schools, charter schools must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Unlike ordinary public schools, charter schools can implement new educational methods more easily and quickly. This flexibility has enabled us to develop our distinctive program, which combines a focus on academic excellence, youth leadership, and community involvement.

Is it true that public charter schools receive less government funding than local district public schools?

Yes. Charter schools receive $1,623 less per student per year in government funding compared to local district schools, according to a study by the Arizona Republic in May 2011. [link to: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/05/01/20110501charter-schools-funding-gap.html

How did the Rising School become a charter school?

After a long, rigorous application and assessment process, the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools (the main chartering agency in Arizona) granted The Rising School a 15-year charter of operations on January 14, 2013.

What is Rising Schools, Inc.?

The Rising School is owned and operated by Rising Schools, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization. In future years, Rising Schools, Inc., may start other charter schools.