Additional 288,000 students account for largest increase in 14 years
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released new figures for the number of students attending public charter schools and the number of charter schools open nationwide. In the 2013-2014 school year, 600 new public charter schools opened their doors and an estimated 288,000 additional students are attending public charter schools.
There are now more than 2.5 million students attending nearly 6,500 schools. Over the past 10 years,charter school enrollment has risen by 225 percent and the number of new schools has risen by 118 percent.
“Parents are increasingly voting with their feet,” said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance. “This is the largest increase in the number of students attending charter schools we’ve seen since tracking enrollment growth. It’s no surprise to see this trend when you look at the data: independent research has shown time and again that charter school students perform better academically than their traditional school peers. Families are catching on and these enrollment figures reflect that.”
The report also notes the closure of approximately 200 public charter schools. These schools closed for a variety of reasons, including low enrollment, financial concerns, and low academic performance.
“The goal of the charter school movement is not simply to increase the number of schools and students enrolled, but rather the number of high-quality public school options for families who need them most,” continued Rees. “These closures reflect that and we will continue to advocate for strong accountability measures to ensure that only high-quality schools are allowed to serve our nation’s students.”
Despite the school closures, the number of public charter schools grew by 7 percent over the 2012-2013 school year.
The report also details the number of students and schools by state. California, Arizona, and Florida led the country with the largest number of new charter schools, each opening more than 75 schools. California and Arizona also led with the greatest number of additional students and were joined by Texas for a combined enrollment of 120,000 new students.
Idaho saw a 6.8% growth with four new charter schools opening in the state and one closing for the 2013-14 school year. Idaho now has 19,409 students enrolled in public charter schools, which is a 3.3% increase over last year.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at www.publiccharters.org.