Thursday, October 29, 2009

Charter Schools 'Market Share' Growing; Exceeds 20% in 14 Communities

Georgia has over 62,000 students enrolled in charter schools.

PRNewswire/ -- Public charter schools' presence in K-12 schooling continues to grow, according to the latest Top 10 Charter Communities by Market Share report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. In fact, charters now enroll more than one in five public school students in 14 communities - including major cities like Detroit, St. Louis, and Kansas City.

Demand remains strongest in urban areas - and as a result, charter "market share" is growing rapidly in cities and adjacent suburbs, even while the overall number of students remains a modest portion of nationwide enrollment.

"Charter schools are working at scale in a growing number of American cities," according to Nelson Smith, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. "Chartering is becoming well-established as a key component of the public education delivery system," he added.

The report finds:
-- Charter Growth Remains Strong: There are 14 communities where more
than 20% of public school students are enrolled in charters, up from
six in 2005-06. 72 communities now have at least 10% of public school
students in charter schools, 27 more than three years ago.
-- 10 Districts Enroll 22% of Charter Students: The 10 districts with the
largest number of students in public charter schools represent 22% of
the total public charter school population nationwide, a total of
304,494 students out of roughly 1.4 million in 2008-09.
-- More than 1/3 of Public School Students in Charters in Three Cities:
Public charter school market share breaks 30% of students in Detroit
(at 32%), Washington, D.C. (36%), and New Orleans (57%).
-- New Orleans Remains at #1 in Market Share Percentage: Not only are
charters in New Orleans serving a higher percentage of public school
students - 57% - than anywhere else in the nation, they are also the
highest performing sector of public schools in the city. More
importantly, the city's public schools as a whole are outperforming
the pre-Katrina system.
-- "In a city like Washington D.C., which has the second highest market
share of charter enrollment, the number of students choosing charters
is impressive," said Anna Nicotera, Director of Research and
Evaluation for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
"Audited D.C. public charter school enrollment has jumped by eleven
percentage points from 25% in (2005-06) to 36% in (2008-09) and
charters there now enroll 43,035 students, which is about 25,000 more
students than four years ago."

The "Top 10" largest market share public charter school communities (including ties) are: New Orleans, LA (57%); Washington, D.C. (36%); Detroit, MI (32%); Kansas City, MO (29%); Dayton, OH (27%); Youngstown, OH (26%); St. Louis, MO (25%); Flint, MI (24%); Gary, IN (23%); Phoenix Union High School District, AZ (22%); and Minneapolis, MN (22%).

The "Top 10" communities with the greatest number of students enrolled in public charter schools are: Los Angeles, CA (59,122), Detroit, MI (43,035), Philadelphia, PA (32,579), Houston, TX (29,889), Chicago, IL (28,973), Washington, D.C. (25,729), Miami-Dade County, FL (23,865), New York City, NY (21,367), New Orleans, LA (20,068), and Broward County, FL (19,867).

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