Many options for parents choosing school for kids

Parents face some tough choices when it comes to choosing a school for their children.

Between public, private, and charter schools, which are schools that are publicly-funded and privately run, there are a lot of options.

Charter schools are public schools of choice. They are very popular—and among the fastest growing school choice options in Florida. Charter schools are largely free to innovate, and often provide more effective programs and choice to diverse groups of students.

Since 1996, the number of charter schools in Florida has grown to over 570 in 2012-13. Charter school student enrollment now tops 200,000 students.

Check out the Charter School Program Statistics for more details.

All charter schools must provide a curriculum that meets the Sunshine State Standards. These schools must also hire certified teachers. In Florida, charter schools are accountable to the school district in which they reside for student academic performance and fiscal management, but they are not managed by the district.

Parents interested in information about a charter school in Hillsborough County may contact the school or visit the school's web site .

John Thomas sat down with Steve Epstein, the principal of Woodmont Charter School in Tampa, who gives us some insight on the differences between the different charter schools and public schools here in the Tampa Bay Area.

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions concerning Charter Schools, or for more information on Woodmont Charter, head to www.woodmontcharter.org .

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