This is a historic time for charter schools in California. Despite tough economic times, charter supporters continue to turn their commitment into opportunities for thousands of students and families seeking more options in public education.
This school year, 115 new charter schools opened, marking the most significant growth since California approved its charter school Law in 1992. This unparalleled growth pushed the state’s total number of charter schools to 912, the highest of any state in the nation. Every major region, as well as both urban and rural areas, saw charter schools open.
For charter school leaders, this growth is encouraging and exciting, and we believe it is proof that a new era of public education has taken hold. This new era is one in which parents, teachers and communities haven’t more flexibility and local control of schools making them better at serving individual student’s needs. It also means that we at the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) must do more than ever to advocate on behalf of charter schools, and continue our efforts to ensure equitable access of funding and facilities for public charter schools. Accountability is another top priority at CCSA, and this growth underlines the need for a system in which high performing charter schools in which high performing charter schools are replicated, while low-performing ones undergo a deep review to determine if they are serving their student’s needs.
With this year’s newly opened schools, an even larger number of families in California will now have more options for high-quality education options for their students.