Washington, D.C. Enrollment in charter public schools has grown by 250,000 students in the 2015-16 school year, and more than 400 new charter public schools have opened their doors, according to a new report released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
The report, A Closer Look at the Charter School Movement: Schools, Students, and Management Organizations, 2015-16, also estimates that the total number of students currently attending charter public schools is nearly 3 million, representing a sixfold increase in charter school enrollment over the past 15 years.
While more than 400 new charter schools opened this school year, the report finds that about 270 schools ceased operations. These schools closed for a variety of reasons, including low enrollment, inadequate financial resources and low academic performance. More than 6,800 charter public schools are now open across 42 states and the District of Columbia.
The continued expansion of charter public schools nationwide, year after year, demonstrates the demand for quality public school options, said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Charter schools are preparing students to succeed in college, careers and life. Due to their success, and considering the hundreds of thousands of students still waiting to attend a charter school, our nations leaders need to make the continued growth of high-quality charter schools a priority.
The report also shines a light on the top 10 states with the highest number of new charter schools and estimated additional students served in 2015-16. California is leading the pack with 80 new charter schools and more than 36,000 new students, while Florida opened nearly 40 new charter schools and added about 32,000 new students.
The National Alliance supports the growth of more high-quality charter schools throughout the nation, and also advocates for strong accountability measures to ensure that schools are closed when they dont meet students needs or parents expectations, Rees said.
The report also finds that as of the 2015-16 school year, 59 percent of charter schools across the country are independent. Another 26 percent are in networks managed by non-profit charter management organizations (CMOs) and the remaining 15 percent are in networks managed by for-profit education management organizations (EMOs).
About Charter Schools
Charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.
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 movement. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.