California charter public schools grew significantly this 2011-12 school year, opening at high numbers statewide, and serving more students and families in both urban and rural areas, according to data released by the California Charter Schools Association.
This school year, 100 new charter schools opened their doors across the state, while enrollment surged by more than 13 percent, from 364,024 students in 2010-11 to over 412,000 students. This growth brings the total number of charters in California to 982 — the most of any state in the nation.
Locally, the Turlock Unified School District opened the eCademy Charter School at Crane and last year Denair opened the Denair Academic Avenues. The Keyes to Learning Charter School recently moved to Turlock and was renamed The Key Academy. Increased enrollment was the main reason for the move as administration needed more space for on-campus students.
The statewide enrollment figures are also significant, as charter school students now represent 7 percent of the total number of students attending public schools in California.
“This unparalleled growth shows tremendous momentum for the charter movement, as it took place despite incredible budget challenges and during a year of unprecedented legislative attacks against charter schools,” said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA. “We want to thank the supporters of the charter movement, including students, parents and teachers, for recognizing the important role of charter schools in public education, and for supporting efforts to expand quality education opportunities to more students. The numbers show that more and more parents are joining charters, and recognizing that they are a symbol of hope.”
“This coming year, the California charter movement will commemorate its 20th anniversary, and to continue to see these upward trends is phenomenal and encouraging. We will continue to advocate for charter schools as they confront challenges in funding and facilities, and for quality choices for students and parents throughout the state,” added Wallace.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, have open enrollment, and serve all students. For more information on the new charter schools in California, visit www.calcharters.org.