Measuring Up



South Carolina

Not scored

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state and recommendations to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

What is the state of charter schools in South Carolina?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

59

5%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

23,302

3%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

64%

53%

11%

Black

29%

38%

-9%

Hispanic

5%

7%

-2%

Asian

2%

2%

0%

Other

1%

1%

0%

Total minority

37%

48%

-11%

 

4. Students in special populations (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

44%

57%

-13%

Special education status

18%

12%

6%

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

62%

69%

-7%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2011–12)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

37%

15%

22%

Suburb

21%

20%

1%

Town

10%

16%

-6%

Rural

33%

48%

-15%

Total nonsuburban

79%

80%

-1%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

0

 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2009–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

4

Average Annual Open Rate

12.3%

2010–11

8

2011–12

3

2012–13

8

2013–14

7

Total number

30

 

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2008–13)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

2

Average Annual Closure Rate

3.2%

2009–10

2

2010–11

0

2011–12

0

2012–13

3

Total number

7

 

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Public charter schools reporting use of various innovative practices (2011–12)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

Extended day (30 minutes or more each day compared to traditional public schools)

63%

Average

29%

Extended year (10 or more days compared to traditional public schools)

33%

Year-round calendar

15%

Independent study

26%

School-to-work

19%

Higher education courses

19%

 
 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

-

 

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

-

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2012–13)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

96%

4%

 

 

 

Public charter schools that are independent, associated with a CMO, or associated with an EMO (2010–11)

 

Number

Percentage

 

 

Independent

41

93%

 

 

Charter management organization

0

0%

 

 

Education management organization

3

7%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2013–14)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

16

35

2

59%

State education agency

-

-

-

-

Independent charter board

1

24

24

41%

Noneducational government entity

-

-

-

-

Higher education institution

-

-

-

-

Nonprofit

-

-

-

-

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2012–13)

Number of virtual public charter school students

8,130

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

40%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

6

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

11%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

A state’s public charter school movement had to meet two conditions to be scored and ranked in this year’s report. First, the movement had to serve at least 1 percent of the state’s public school students. Second, the state had to participate in the Center for Research on Education Outcomes’ (CREDO) 2013 National Charter School Study so that we had a measure of student academic growth data for its public charter schools in comparison to its traditional public schools. While South Carolina’s movement met the first condition, South Carolina was not a partner state in CREDO’s 2013 study. Therefore, we did not score and rank South Carolina’s public charter school movement in this year’s report.1

However, we provided the data we were able to gather below. Based on this information, we offer the following observations:

  • In 2013–14, there were 59 public charter schools and 23,302 public charter school students in South Carolina, constituting 5 percent of the state’s public schools and 3 percent of the state’s public school students, respectively.
  • In 2012–13, public charter schools in South Carolina served a lower percentage of racial and ethnic minority students (11 percentage points less).
  • In 2012–13, public charter schools in South Carolina served a lower percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students (13 percentage points less) than traditional public schools but a higher percentage of special education students than traditional public schools (6 percentage points more).
  • Seventy-nine percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas as compared to 80 percent of traditional public schools during 2011–12.
  • Thirty new public charter schools opened in South Carolina between 2009–10 and 2013–14, an average annual open rate of 12.3 percent.
  • Seven public charter schools closed in South Carolina between 2008–09 and 2012–13, an average annual closure rate of 3.2 percent.
  • An average of 29 percent of the state’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
  • Ninety-six percent of the state’s public charter schools were startups, and 4 percent were conversions in 2012–13.
  • In 2010–11, 93 percent of the state’s public charters were independently managed, and 7 percent were associated with a for-profit educational management organization. None were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization.
  • As of 2013–14, 16 local school districts had authorized 35 public charter schools (59 percent of the state’s total number of public charter schools), and one independent state charter board had authorized 24 public charter schools (41 percent).
  • There were six virtual public charter schools in South Carolina during 2012–13, serving 8,130 students (40 percent of the state’s public charter school population).

1South Carolina passed a bill in 2014 improving accountability and increasing funding for some public charter schools. These changes will be included in our ranking of South Carolina’s public charter school law in 2015.

Recommendations

South Carolina’s populations of public charter schools and public charter school students continue to grow at a healthy rate. To better support the growth of high-quality public charter schools, we recommend that the state change its law to ensure equitable operational funding (including a formula for state-authorized public charter schools), provide equitable access to capital funding and facilities, and create an expedited approval process for proven models that want to replicate or expand. We also encourage the state to explore why public charter schools are serving lower percentages of racial and ethnic minority students and free and reduced-price lunch students than traditional public schools and consider reducing potential barriers to attending charters by providing transportation to public charter school students.