WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the first time ever, more than 100 school districts have 10 percent of their students enrolled in public charter schools, according to a report released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), titled A Growing Movement: Americas Largest Charter School Communities. Nationwide, charter school enrollment increased by 200,000 students in 2011-12, with more than two million students now enrolled in these independently run, innovative public schools that foster partnerships between parents, teachers and students.
"According to the report, 110 school districts now have at least 10 percent of their public school students enrolled in public charter schools, a record high and an increase of nearly 15 percent over the previous year. In addition, 25 school districts have more than 20 percent of their public school students enrolled in charter schools. Seven districts enroll at least 30 percent of their public school students in charter schools.
"Whether in cities, towns, or rural communities, parents and teachers are collaborating to offer innovative options in the public school system to meet students needs", said Nina S. Rees, the president and CEO of the NAPCS. "The increase in public charter school enrollment in all types of communities across America shows that parent demand for school options continues to grow. These numbers will continue to rise as teachers and parents work together to provide high-quality options in communities across America."
Exceptional findings from the report include:
- The seven school districts now with more than 30 percent of their public school students enrolled in public charter schools include: New Orleans, Detroit, Washington D.C., Kansas City (Missouri), Flint, Gary, and St. Louis.
- The five school districts with the largest charter school enrollment grew by an average of 17 percent in 2011-12, adding a total of nearly 44,000 new students. These school districts include: Los Angeles Unified School District, New York City Department of Education, Detroit Public Schools, The School District of Philadelphia and Chicago Public Schools.
- The percentage of New Orleans students attending public charter schools grew from 70 percent in the 2010-11 school year to 76 percent in the next school year. The city's charter schools are the highest-performing sector in the district.
- Among the 50 districts with the largest charter school student enrollments, 29 school districts saw the number of students enrolled in public charters increase by 10 percent or more. Clark County, Nev., and Hillsborough County, Fla., were identified as the districts with the fastest growing enrollment of charter schools, with increases of 64 percent and 52 percent, respectively.
To produce the report, NAPCS gathered public school enrollment data to identify districts where the highest local proportions of students are enrolled in public charter schools. Download a copy of the report A Growing Movement: Americas Largest Charter School Communities Seventh Annual Edition at http://publiccharters.org/publication/?id=902. The report uses 2011-2012 school-year enrollment figures.