Charter School Student Population Tops 2.5 Million
According to estimates from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, about 600 new charter schools opened for the 2013-14 school year, serving an additional 288,000 students.
That brings the total number of charter schools in the country to about 6,400 serving 2.5 million students.
About 200 charter schools that were open in 2012-13 did not open back up this year, according to the new report, due to financial reasons, low enrollment, or poor academic performance.
California topped the list for both the highest number of school closures (39) as well as the highest number of new charter schools (104 schools serving 48,000 additional students.) Arizona and Florida both saw tremendous growth in new charters, with 87 and 75 schools opening in those states, respectively.
"This is the largest increase in the number of students attending charter schools we've seen since tracking enrollment growth," said Nina Rees, the president and chief executive officer of the Washington-based National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, in a press release. Overall, the sector experienced seven percent growth from 2012-13 to 2013-14.