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Prospective Families

What is a Charter School?

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The Charter School Difference

Public charter schools are nonreligious, publicly funded, and open to all students. They do not charge tuition or use admission tests or screenings for enrollment. They are not private or “voucher” schools.

Like other public schools, Capitol West Academy is funded by the State of Wisconsin and local taxes. While charter schools receive significantly less per-pupil funding than public schools, they do have more autonomy and independence.

For example, CWA has a board of directors and we are not subject to the board of Milwaukee Public Schools. This increased freedom allows us to customize the educational experience to the students we serve and uniquely meet the needs of our surrounding community.

Statistics showthat charter school parents are more likely than assigned-district or choice-district public school parents to say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their school, its teachers, and its expectations. In our twice-annual parent satisfaction survey, parents report that they are satisfied with CWA.

What is a Charter, Anyway?

A charter is a contract with a chartering entity. For Capitol West Academy, this entity is the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The charter details the school’s program, goals, and methods of assessment.

Several groups keep charter schools accountable for upholding these promises: the authorizer that grants the charter, the parents who choose to send their children, and the public that funds them.

Accountability involves reporting both fiscal practices and academic results. To measure results, charter schools in Wisconsin give their students the state’s standardized tests and report results publicly.

Please visit our Resources section for information and documentation, such as our school handbook, calendar, forms and more.