"Charter Schools ARE Public Schools" is a slogan I saw at a national Charter School Conference several years ago. A significant portion of the general public believe charter schools are private schools and can charge tuition. Quite the opposite, charter schools are public schools in everyway the traditional public school is.
Charter schools are not exempt from testing their students with the state assessment, adhering to state accountability laws, complying with the separation of church and state, and educating students with special needs. Whereas choice schools (magnet/option) schools within a school district can have enrollment requirements, a charter school cannot. This means a district-operated performing arts school could require an audition for enrollment, but this is not permissible in a charter school.
Most often, within the charter school community people refer to "public charter schools" rather than simply "charter schools." It is more accurate!