Charter schools are independent public schools that are granted operational autonomy in exchange for performance-based accountability. This permits charter schools to make decisions closest to the classroom. Charter school leaders and boards have the flexibility to make decisions about staffing, curriculum development, and other factors to meet the specific needs of their students. Charter schools are held to high academic, financial, and organizational standards as set forth in the law, policy, and the charter contract. Charters undergo extensive oversight by their authorizer, either a local school board or the state.