The new school as the charter school is often labeled arose in response to demand from parents who desired more choice in the public education of their children. Charter schools typically originate from the collective efforts of a group of teachers and parents who apply for a charter. The charter is issued by a “school board, university, or state agency” (For-Profit, 2000, 1). The first state to create a charter school was Minnesota when its legislature passed the first charter school law in 1990 (For-Profit, 2000, 1).
Since the creation of the first charter school, the charter school movement has rapidly spread across the nation drawing support from teachers, parents, students, and state and federal officials alike “The number of charter schools has soared to 1,700 from fewer than 100 in 1994; it will reach 3,000 by 2002, according to U.S. Education Secretary Richard Riley” (Not-For, 2000, 1). However, the creation of charter schools has created a great deal of controversy because while these schools are able to function independently of the regulations that govern most other public schools, they receive their funding from the same source—public tax dollars.
One of the biggest forces behind choice in public education is parents. Dissatisfied with the performance of many public schools, parents increasingly wish to have an influence on how, wher