Charter Schools in Tucson

Charter Schools Tucson | Charter Schools in Tucson

Searching for a charter school in Tucson for your child or teen? You've come to the right place! We've put together a comprehensive guide to assist you in finding a school that is the right fit for your family.

What exactly is a charter school? How does a charter school differ from a public school?

A charter school is a public school that receives government funding and is operated under the supervision and direction of the United States Department of Education.

How many charter schools are there in Tucson?

Historically, Tucson has been a "charter school friendly city" so there are around fifty charter schools in the Tucson metro area and in the surrounding suburbs.

What is the application process like for most charter schools?

As a public school, any parent may choose to send his/her child to a charter school. Admission is not based on merit, interviews, or any other subjective factor. If more students apply for admission than can be accommodated, students are admitted via a lottery system.

Are there any religious or Christian charter schools in Tucson?

No. As public schools, charter schools must be "non-religious in their programs, admissions policies, governance, employment practices and all other operations, and the charter school’s curriculum must be completely secular" (taken from Title V, Part B - United States Department of Education).

Do I have to live in or near a charter school in order to enroll?

No. Charter schools do not have enrollment boundaries and any student may enroll, regardless of where they live. That said, transportation services may not be available.

Are charter schools free in Tucson?

Yes. Because charter schools are public schools, students attend free and do not pay tuition.

What questions should I ask on a school tour?

Many of the charter schools in Tucson have stellar academic reputations (beating out traditional public schools in test scores and extracurriculars), while other charter schools have a poor reputation. It is important to take a school tour, to ask for recommendations, and to do your own research before making an enrollment choice for your child.

Here are ten questions you may want to ask prospective schools:

  1. What is your school's mission and philosophy of education?
  2. Who will be my child's teacher and what credentials/experience does he/she have?
  3. Have all teachers been background-checked? Does the screening process apply to all employees (janitors, lunchroom staff, security personnel, bus drivers, etc.)?
  4. How much “screen time” (iPads, computers, etc) is part of the day, if any?
  5. What curriculum do you use for each subject?
  6. How much homework is required on a typical school night?
  7. What is your policy regarding cell phone use on-campus?
  8. Tell us about the extracurricular and athletic opportunities at this school.
  9. What is the average class size?
  10. What makes this school special?

If you are considering enrolling in a charter school at the high school level, be sure to also ask for a copy of the School Profile, which is a one page sheet that includes information about the school's curriculum, community, and scholar accomplishments.

What is the best charter school in Tucson?

Great question! With dozens of charter schools in Tucson, it’s hard to pinpoint just one. Each school has a unique community, curriculum, and focus.

The best way to find a charter school in Tucson is to ask friends and family members for recommendations. You can also check yelp and google reviews. Finally, don't be shy about scheduling tours at several different schools so that you can make an informed decision.

Other Schools in Tucson

You may also be interested in the following resource pages:

***Watch this page for new and updated information about charter schools in Tucson.


Leman Academy of Excellence

Leman Academy is a tuition-free public charter school for children in grades K-8 with open-admission policies and no entrance exam. A tuition-based preschool is also offered at select locations. Leman's teachers, administrators, and parents follow the philosophies of child psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman, the Academy’s founder, who believe that the best education is one that focuses on educating both the mind and heart.

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