Public Charter Schools Growing Stronger: Serving 1.8 Million Students in More Than 5,000 Schools

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ATLANTA, GA - Today the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) kicks-off the eleventh annual National Charter Schools Conference celebrating charter school successes and opportunities. Four thousand charter school professionals gather to hear from keynote speakers including President Bill Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey.

“This week we are thrilled to celebrate the high-quality public school options charter schools are giving to more than 1.8 million students across America. These independent schools are among the most powerful tools working to reform public education,” said Peter C. Groff, president and CEO, NAPCS. "We gather in Atlanta, a significant location for civil rights accomplishments, and recognize that improving public education for all students is the most pressing civil rights issue today. Public charter schools are leading the charge and delivering new options to children who deserve access to high-quality, public schools."

To describe both growth and quality of the charter school movement, NAPCS today released the latest data set on the Public Charter Schools Dashboard. This dashboard is the most comprehensive, publicly available database of statistics and indicators about the growth and quality of public charter schools. The dashboard hosts detailed information on every charter school in operation including enrollment, student demographic and achievement data. It also aggregates relevant statistics to national, state and district -levels. 

A total 1.8 million students attended 5,277 public charter schools in 2010-2011, representing an 11.8% growth over 2009-2010. The dashboard shows public charter schools serve a higher percentage of non-white and urban students. Sixty-three percent of public charter school students are non-white, compared with 42.7 percent non-white in traditional public schools. Roughly 55 percent of public charter schools are located in large cities compared with 25 percent of traditional public schools were located in large cities. 

Effectively bringing high-quality public schools to these traditionally underserved communities is a primary focus of the conference, themed Because Every Child Can Succeed. More than 140 conference sessions for educators and charter supporters address improving legal, operational, governance and academic outcomes for charter schools. This event is open to credentialed media and registered conference attendees only. A complete overview of the weeks activities can be found at www.nationalcharterconference.org.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools: 

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) is the national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. NAPCS works to increase the number of high-performing charter schools available to all families, particularly low-income and minority families who currently do not have access to quality public schools. The Alliance provides assistance to state charter school associations and resource centers, develops and advocates for improved public policies, and serves as the united voice for this large and diverse movement. NAPCS represents more than 1.8 million students enrolled in more than 5,000 charter schools across 40 states and the District of Columbia.