October 28, 2009 October 28, 2009
California charter schools are experiencing explosive growth, roughly 20 percent growth for two years in a row. This consistent growth is phenomenal given this tough economic climate and it speaks to the choices that both parents and teachers are making and their demand for high-quality educational options. The solid growth in charter school enrollment demonstrates that parents - and teachers - realize charters are mainstream options."
CCSA has confirmed that 88 new public charter schools opened their doors for the first time this fall, bringing the total number of California charter schools in operation to 809 schools, serving approximately 341,000 public school students.
New and existing charter schools added an estimated 56,000 new students this year, the largest single-year enrollment increase in history and equivalent to adding the entire enrollment of the ninth largest school district in the state.
This year also marked the first year that more than half of all new charter schools that opened this fall (45 of 88 schools) are replications of existing, successful charter school models, an increase of 11 percent over the previous year.
As of this fall, approximately one in every six charter schools nationwide (16 percent) operates in California. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, based in Washington, D.C., there are now more than 4,900 charter schools currently educating over 1.5 million children.
Trends for the future indicate that similar levels of growth in charter school enrollment will continue if not accelerate. This signals that a fundamental shift in the way we operate public schools is underway within California. It is then incumbent upon the charter school community to redouble our efforts to make sure that proper accountability systems are in place which will ensure that charter schools generate significantly higher levels of student learning than has historically been available within the traditional public education system. CCSA will continue do everything we can to help our members continue to lead our state and the nation to develop critically needed improvements to charter school accountability systems.