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Charter schools: Protect yourself as an educator

When you work for a charter school, you are essentially working for a privately run school that is run independent of the state and local government. These schools have regulations and rules that must still be followed, but legal issues that come up in these facilities can become complex quickly.

Charter schools may be for-profit or non-profit schools, and like-minded teachers or parents may create the school. Since these schools aren't overseen by state officials, the school sets standards through a contract with the state.

At a charter school, there can be increased accountability. That means that if you make a mistake, you could be asked to resign or even have your job terminated. These schools don't have a lot of room to perform poorly, so mistakes add up quickly and can get a school shut down.

If you're performing poorly as a teacher or aren't in line with the school's academic goals, your job could be at risk. However, if you're wrongfully terminated or have problems with the things you're teaching not meeting current standards, you can file a complaint.

If you're accused of poor behavior, like drunk driving or sexual assault, your job could be put into jeopardy as well. You may face criminal charges that you'll need a defense against, but you'll also want an attorney who can help you maintain your teaching license and make sure the penalties fit the crime, if there was one.

Our website has more information on charter schools and what to expect when you work with one.

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