The petition filed in late February by 23 of 26 Dozier-Libbey teachers and, most recently, denied by the Contra Costa Office of Education, is for a conversion charter that would be independent of the Antioch Unified School District. Antioch Unified considers its charter petition a startup.

Here are some of the terms for the various types of charter schools and what they mean:

Conversion charter: Changes existing school campus from district-run to run by a nonprofit agency that could be established by the school. Requires 50 percent of the permanent status teachers currently employed at a school to submit a petition; usually presumed that converted school can remain at the current campus site. The school must also lease space.

Startup charter: A group looking to create a new school. Requires 50 percent of the estimated number of parents or guardians of students who would enroll in the school, or 50 percent of the number of teachers estimated for the first year of operation.

Independent charter: It is not a term defined in the Charter Schools Act but is usually used to explain a charter that is self-governed, manages its own budget and hires and fires its own personnel.

Dependent charter: It is not a term defined in the Charter Schools Act but is usually used to explain a close relationship between the district and the charter's operators, including its formation, oversight, governance structure and funding.

Here are some rules governing all types of charters:


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They are public schools of choice and tuition-free.

If applications for admission exceed targeted enrollment for the school or grade, enrollment is determined by a "public random drawing" or lottery.

They have a governing board for oversight and must report to their sponsoring district or county office of education.

They are subject to state audits.

They have to be accredited for coursework to be eligible for admission to University of California or California State University schools.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.