Benjamin Franklin Charter School was one of Arizona’s first charter schools. What is a charter school? A charter school is a public school that receives its operating authorization and funding from the State Board of Education, the State Board for Charter Schools, or any school district that chooses to charter a school under the charter school law passed in 1994. The “Charter” is a contract with the chartering body that allows a private entity to operate a “public” charter school in accordance with a specific program outlined in the charter.
Benjamin Franklin Charter School applied for and was granted its charter by the State Board for Charter Schools on June 12, 1995 for the Mesa campus. The Crismon (Queen Creek) campus received its original charter from the Ganado Unified School District on May 13, 1996. A year later in May of 1997, Benjamin Franklin Charter School added the Gilbert campus and consolidated its three campuses under the original charter, making the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools its sponsor for all sites. In the fall of 2006, Benjamin Franklin Charter School added a fourth campus to the Franklin family with the opening of its Power (Queen Creek) campus.
The philosophy, curriculum, and strong parental involvement that define Benjamin Franklin Charter School are based on many years of experience with similar programs that resulted from the “Back-to-Basics” movement during the 1970’s. In the same spirit of parental involvement that gave birth to those earlier programs, Benjamin Franklin Charter School is the result of parents getting involved in their children’s education by taking advantage of the new charter school law to form parent operated and governed schools.
Our charter allows us to operate multiple campuses throughout the state to address current and future parent demand for the program. The decision to add grades and/or sites is governed by the availability of facilities, parent interest, and funding. We will continue to grow and accommodate student demand to the best of our abilities. On behalf of the parents and students who have had the opportunity to experience this program, we are grateful to the teachers, administrators, and staff who make the program possible.