Public charter schools are a growing part of America’s public education system. Nearly 20 years after the first charter school opened, charter schools provide significant public educational options for parents and students in an increasing number of communities. In the last two years alone, 19 states partially or entirely lifted their arbitrary caps on the number of charter schools, and Maine enacted a law in 2011 to permit charter schools to operate for the first time in its history. All these policy changes create the potential for even greater growth of public charter schools. And the growth in public charter school enrollment presented in this report shows that parent demand for school options continues.
Today, a record number of school districts—six—have at least 30 percent of their public school students enrolled in public charter schools. Charter schools in New Orleans enroll an astounding 70 percent of public school students. Additionally, 18 school districts have 20 percent or more of their public school students enrolled in charter schools, eleven more than when we first printed this report six years ago. Nearly 100 districts now have at least 10 percent of public school students in charter schools. Download the study from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.