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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.



(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.


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
References in periodicals archive ?
However, math scores at such urban charter schools still lagged behind those at traditional schools, except when those charters were affiliated with a local district.
Finally, the effect of charters on students who leave is likely a worst-case estimate; it should be complemented by one comparing the academic growth of students who stay in charters with the effect of students who stay in regular public schools.
Lost in the din of political static is a new wave of public expectation for doing more with less in public higher education that has rekindled the charter debate.
The Florida legislature approved charter schools in 1996.
In general, Mediterranean charters are more cultural, with frequent trips ashore, while those in the Caribbean are more oriented toward water sports.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress results for 2003 show that fourth graders in charter schools performed about a half year behind their peers in traditional public schools in reading and math even when comparing students eligible for free lunch or comparing students in central cities.
Third, even without added rules and regulations, it is hard to start a charter school.
The number of charter schools--tax-funded institutions that operate independently of public school bureaucracies--was growing rapidly, especially in California.
As enrollment in the Los Angeles Unified School District continues to decline, the city's charter schools are experiencing a boom, with more than 10,000 students on their waiting lists.
Most research on charter schools, and the most intense public debate over their desirability, has focused on the impact of these new schools on the students who attend them.