California charter schools continue to grow in popularity, and register unparalleled growth.
In the fall of 2010-11, California saw its most significant increase, with 115 new charter schools opening their doors at the beginning of the school year.
That is the highest one-year growth in charter school history, not just in California but in the nation. The number also pushed the total of charter schools in California to 912. By comparison, ten years ago, in the year 2000, we had just 299 schools. Both urban and rural areas had new charter schools open this year as well, and every major region saw an increase.
Of the 115 schools, 86% were start-ups and 14% were conversions, and while the majority of new schools are site-based, independent study charter schools continue to also increase.
In addition, every major county in the state experienced significant growth, with Los Angeles County topping the list with 31 new charters for a total of 242, the highest number of charter schools in any county in the U.S.
Additional growth occurred in:
- San Diego County with 11 new charter schools, for a total of 92
- Placer County with 7 schools for a total of 17
- Butte with six new charters for a total of 16
- San Joaquin County also with six for a total of 26 new schools
- San Bernardino had 5 new schools for a total of 36
- Santa Clara also with five for a total of 38
- Sonoma County with five new schools for a total of 36
The California Charter Schools Association offers a variety of supports for teams planning and preparing to open charter schools. Visit the "Starting a Charter" section of our website for access to information about how to open a charter school, or the "Membership" section for details about the specialized services CCSA can provide school developers.