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The Learning Curve: Race and Class Often Color the Debate Over Charter Schools

Charter schools have existed in San Diego since 1994, but the debate over whether they’re good for public education shows no signs of slowing down.

Charter schools are publicly funded but independently run. In San Diego, there’s been a steady growth of students opting out of traditional schools and into charter schools. This year, roughly 20 percent of students living within San Diego Unified boundaries are enrolled in charters, and district officials expect the numbers to rise.

Both nationally and locally, the debate often focuses on students of color – namely, whether charter schools are adequately educating black and Latino students, as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds.