A charter school is created and organized by a community group and given special permission by the Local Educational Authority (Hamilton County Department of Education) to operate in the district. Charter schools operate differently. They may use a different grading system, teaching approaches, discipline strategies, or hold longer school hours and/or a longer school year. Charter schools receive public funds, but must also raise private funds to cover expenses such as building and transportation costs, as well as any other special program or equipment required.
The Tennessee legislature passed legislation in July 2011 that opened up charter school eligibility requirements. Any student eligible for promotion in grades K-10 and living in Hamilton County is eligible to attend.
There is a lottery only if there are more applicants than spaces available for either the school or a single grade.
CCSE is a public charter school; there is no tuition fee.