Blog: The Educated Reporter

Charter Schools Hit Milestone Twenty Years in the Making

The number of charter schools in the United States has topped 6,000 for the first time since the first independently operated public campus launched 20 years ago.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools points out that the threshold was crossed due to record growth for the 2012-13 academic year. There were 237 new campuses in five states: California (81); Florida (67); Texas (41); New York (25) and Michigan (23). In fact, those five states account for about 2,400 of all charter schools nationwide. As the chart below shows, charter school enrollment now tops 2.3 million students, also a record high, according to the national alliance.

“The growth of the public charter sector continues because parents are demanding quality options for their children,” said Nina Rees, the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “Charter leaders are opening schools to respond to parents and to provide more students with a quality education that meets their needs.”

As I’ve written recently, charter schools are shaping up to be one of the top topics of the new year. 

Interest in charters as an alternative to traditional public education remains high, even if the research suggests that the model is still evolving.

For more on charter schools and choice, check out EWA’s new News Topics resource. And in a shameless bit of self promotion, here’s an interesting conversation I had on charter schools with host Dave Becker of KNPR’s “State of Nevada.”


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