Because of the hybrid nature of charter schools, courts have a difficult time determining whether they are public or private. Indeed, charter schools have argued that they are private in order to evade state and federal laws that they do not like.
More than 2.5 million students attend an estimated 6,400 charter schools in 42 states, with the number of these “independent public schools” — as President Barack Obama called them in his National Charter Schools Week proclamation last year — increasing dramatically. For the 2013-14 school year, more than 600 new charter schools opened their doors nationwide, while 70 more are slated to open in North Carolina alone. But as the charter school model of education grows, so does the likelihood for fraud and mismanagement.