Grand Valley State University Charter School Office, SWDCS charter school authorizer, has a long-standing tradition and commitment to providing quality education for students. As part of this mission, the GVSU Board of Trustees seeks to impact public K-12 education through its leadership in Michigan’s Charter Schools. GVSU’s dedication to fostering choice in K-12 education and positive public reform is stronger than ever.

GVSU, in its 21st year as an authorizer, charters 71 school buildings, serving more than 33,000 students.

About Charter Schools

What is a charter school?

A charter school is an independently run public school granted greater flexibility in its operations, in return for greater accountability for performance. The “charter” establishing each school is a performance contract detailing the school’s mission, program, students served, performance goals, and methods of assessment. A charter is issued by an Authorizer to a Board of Directors via a charter contract.

What is the difference between charter schools and other public schools?

Charter schools are public schools of choice, meaning that families choose them for their children. Charter schools are accountable for academic results and for upholding the promises made in their charters. They must demonstrate performance in the areas of academic achievement, financial management, and organizational stability. If a charter school does not meet performance goals, it may be closed.