Top Ten Charter Communities by Market Share: 4th Annual Edition

National Alliance

Public charter schools’ presence in K-12 schooling continues to grow. In fact, charters now enroll more than one in five public school students (22%) in 14 communities – including major cities like Detroit, St. Louis, and Kansas City. Demand remains strongest in urban areas – and as a result, charter “market share” is growing rapidly in cities and adjacent suburbs, even while the overall number of students remains a modest portion of nationwide enrollment. The Alliance uses public school enrollment data to find the highest local proportions of students enrolled in public charter schools and illustrates the healthy growth in public charter school enrollment in communities across the country. The report finds:
• Charter Growth Remains Strong: There are 14 communities where more than 20% of public school students are enrolled in charters, up from six in 2005-06. 72 communities now have at least 10% of public school students in charter schools, 27 more than three years ago. • 10 Districts Enroll 22% of Charter Students: The 10 districts with the largest number of students in public charter schools represent 22% of the total public charter school population nationwide, a total of 304,494 students out of roughly 1.4 million. • More than 1/3 of Public School Students in Charters in Three Cities: Public charter school market share breaks 30% of students in Detroit (at 32%), Washington, D.C. (36%), and New Orleans (57%). • New Orleans Remains at #1 in Market Share Percentage: Not only are charters in New Orleans serving a higher percentage of public school students – 57% – than anywhere else in the nation, they are also the highest performing sector of public schools in the city. More importantly, the city’s public schools as a whole are outperforming the pre-Katrina system.
The “Top 10” largest market share public charter school communities are: New Orleans, LA (57%); Washington, D.C. (36%); Detroit, MI (32%); Kansas City, MO (29%); Dayton, OH (27%); Youngstown, OH (26%); St. Louis, MO (25%); Flint, MI (24%); Gary, IN (23%); Phoenix Union High School District, AZ (22%); and Minneapolis, MN (22%). The “Top 10” communities with the greatest number of students enrolled in public charter schools are: Los Angeles, CA (59,122), Detroit, MI (43,035), Philadelphia, PA (32,579), Houston, TX (29,889), Chicago, IL (28,973), Washington, D.C. (25,729), Miami-Dade County, FL (23,865), New York City, NY (21,367), New Orleans, LA (20,068), and Broward County, FL (19,867). To see charter school market share data by state, visit the Public Charter Schools Dashboard at