A charter school is a public school created by a group of parents, teachers, and/or community members. It is a school of choice authorized by a school district or other authorizer. ECMCS is a Charleston County School of choice authorized by CCSD. The charter school operates under a contract or "charter" between the charter school and the authorizer. Charter schools are formed to provide greater school choice, greater accountability and increased student achievement.
ECMCS is accountable to CCSD, the South Carolina State Department of Education, and to the community it serves. As a public school, no tuition is charged. However, parents are an integral component of the school’s success and are required to participate in volunteer hours.
Operational costs come from the state and district operational funds based on student enrollment counts; that amount is determined by state legislation.
Unlike traditional district schools, most charter schools do not receive funding to cover the cost of securing a facility and do not receive transportation funds.
A few states provide capital funding to start-up schools, and some start-up schools are able to take over available unused district space, but most must rely on other, independent means. ECMCS depends on the generosity of families and community members to continue providing the means to overcome these obstacles.