Advocates for charter schools say they offer families educational alternatives to failing public schools without the worry of private school tuition. But opponents argue they harm traditional public schools by siphoning money from the district, causing superintendents to make difficult budget choices like cutting art classes or reducing one-on-one teaching.

A charter school is a publicly funded school that is established by a private group. The group creates a contract with the state and local government, which lays out specific accountability requirements. The government has the ability to shut the school down if it doesn't meet those standards. What's more, these schools are exempt from certain state laws and regulations that traditional public schools must follow, but they are expected to meet educational standards.

KIPP, which stands for the "Knowledge Is Power Program," is the largest charter management organization in the U.S., according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

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