Countdown to Annual Conference


The North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools is the leading state nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement.  The Association is the voice speaking on behalf of the 185 public charter schools to improve state charter policy and to sustain charter flexibility and autonomy.  Our mission is to advance quality educational opportunities for North Carolina’s children by supporting and expanding successful public charter schools.
We work to:


  • Protect parents’ right to choose the best educational setting for their children.
  • Allow school leaders to operate their schools with as much flexibility as possible to meet the needs of their students.
  • Ensure public funding follows the student.
  • Support new and existing charter schools.
  • Promote public charter schools as a school choice option.
  • Inform policymakers of the positive difference public charter schools are making in the lives of their students.
  • Fight proposed legislation that limits charter school flexibility and autonomy.
  • Increase funding to create parity with district schools.


Q: What is a charter school?

 A: Charter schools are nontraditional public schools. One of the key differences between charter schools and traditional public schools, or district schools, is the way they are governed. District schools are governed by a school district board while charter schools are governed by a board specifically for that school. As a result, these schools have more flexibility in their curriculum. This explains why you hear of some charter schools with a focus on the arts, science, technology, a certain culture, or a certain educational methodology (i.e. Classical, Montessori, Flipped Classroom). However, because charter schools receive public funds, they are still required to meet state testing requirements.

Q: How many charter schools are in NC?

 A: As of the beginning of the 2022 school year, there are 204 charter schools in the state, educating 130,000 students in the state.

Q: What does the Association do?

A: The North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools (NCAPCS) is the leading charter school membership organization in the state. Created from the merger of the NC Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the NC Public Charter Schools Association, NCAPCS is dedicated to advancing quality educational opportunities for all children in North Carolina by supporting and expanding successful charter schools. NCAPCS serves as an advocate on behalf of all North Carolina public charter schools in addition to providing a broad spectrum of technical support, mentoring, training, networking, and purchasing services to its membership.


Q: Is the number of charter schools in NC growing?

A: Absolutely! Although charter schools have existed in NC since 1996, there has been significant growth since the state Legislature lifted the 100-charter-school cap in 2011. Since then, about a dozen new schools have been opening each year.