Education

Number of charter schools, students soars nationwide

Posted February 3

More than 400 new charter schools opened in the 2015-16 school year, and an additional 250,000 students nationwide attend charter schools this year compared to last, according to a report Wednesday from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

The report, A Closer Look at the Charter School Movement: Schools, Students, and Management Organizations, 2015-16, includes an estimate that 3 million students nationwide attend about 6,800 public charter schools. That represents a six-fold increase in charter school enrollment since 2000.

North Carolina ranks among the top 10 states in charter school growth, having added 15 schools and 11,900 charter students in 2015-16. The state has 161 charter schools in operation.

While hundreds of charter schools opened in 2015-16, hundreds more closed. The report cited reasons ranging from low enrollment to low academic performance to funding problems for the closures.

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