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document granting certain rights, powers, or functions. It may be issued by the sovereign body of a state to a local governing body, university, or other corporation or by the constituted authority of a society or order to a local unit. The term was widely applied to various royal grants of rights in the Middle Ages and in early modern times. The most famous political charter is the Magna CartaMagna Carta
or Magna Charta
[Lat., = great charter], the most famous document of British constitutional history, issued by King John at Runnymede under compulsion from the barons and the church in June, 1215.
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 of England. Chartered companies held broad powers of trade and government by royal charter. In colonial America, chartered colonies were in theory, and to an extent in fact, less subject to royal interference than were royal colonies.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(ustav), a body of rules regulating the structure, procedures, and activities of a state agency, enterprise, or institution or of a particular field of activity. Charters in the USSR include the Rules of Railroads of the USSR and the Statute on Secondary General-education Schools. Charters also regulate the armed forces of the USSR (see). Most charters are approved by the highest bodies of state authority in the USSR; the charters of some institutions and organizations are approved by the appropriate ministries and departments. Voluntary sports societies, the various artists’ unions, dacha-building and housing-construction cooperatives, and other organizations are also governed by charters.

Most international organizations have charters that outline their goals, organizational structure, and activities, for example, the Charter of the United Nations.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. a formal document from the sovereign or state incorporating a city, bank, college, etc., and specifying its purposes and rights
2. a formal document granting or demanding from the sovereign power of a state certain rights or liberties
3. the fundamental principles of an organization; constitution
a. the hire or lease of transportation
b. the agreement or contract regulating this
c. (as modifier): a charter flight
5. a law, policy, or decision containing a loophole which allows a specified group to engage more easily in an activity considered undesirable
6. Maritime law another word for charterparty
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
micromanagement of state charter school accountability standards.
These accountability measures for failing charter schools focus on a
To improve school choice, the Public Charter Schools Program (PCSP)
provides dissemination grants to charter schools that have
PCSP, individual charter school developers may apply directly to the
The ESSA expanded state-level charter school grants by creating a
Charter schools ( regularly  sign contracts with little oversight, shuffle money between subsidiaries and cut corners that would never fly in the real world of business or traditional public schools 6 at least not if the business wanted to stay out of bankruptcy and school officials out of jail.
The biggest problem in charter school operations involves facility leases and land purchases.
One of the latest examples can be found in a January 2019 ( report from the Ohio auditor-general, which revealed that in 2016 a Cincinnati charter school paid ( $867,000  to lease its facilities.
In other words, some "( nonprofit " charter schools take public money and pay their owners with it.
Thomas Kelley, a law professor specializing in nonprofit law, unearthed similar ( problems in North Carolina , where charter school management companies obtain "ownership of valuable properties using public funds" and then charge the nonprofit charter schools rent far in excess of what is necessary to cover the cost of acquiring and maintaining the facilities.