Charters grow, but so do wait lists

Charter schools are growing steadily — as are charter wait lists — reports the Center for Education Reform’s 2014 Survey of America’s Charter Schools.

Sixty-one percent of charter schools serve predominantly lower-income students. Charter students are much more likely to be black and somewhat more likely to be Latino than other public school students, according to the survey and National Center for Education Statistics data. Sixty-three percent of charter students qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch compared to 48 percent of public students.

The populations of charter students and public school students appear to be comparable with respect to special education status, the proportion of English language learners, and gifted and talented students.

Educational approaches include: college prep (30 percent), STEM (8 percent), Core Knowledge (16 percent), Blended Learning (6 percent) and Virtual/Online learning (2 percent).

On average, charter schools receive 36 percent less revenue than traditional public schools, the survey finds. “Unlike other public schools, most do not receive facilities funds,” which means they must spend operating funds to rent space.

The percentage of charters offering an extended school day increased from 23 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2012.

More charters are paying teachers based on performance, the survey reports. 

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  1. It should also be noted that charter schools, unlike regular public schools, do not receive additional funding for spec ed; thereby eliminating a big motivation for more diagnoses.

  2. momof4 is correct, but this is only the tip of the iceberg, Why do school districts love Charter schools? School districts can operate these schools, with no support (buildings, maintenance, support staff, teachers paid less, etc.) at an average 36% saving. Where is this 36% going? No wonder school districts are jumping on the charter band-wagon. I know in Philadelphia many schools are closing, but when re-chartering comes up (every 5 years), there is a very good chance that the charter will not be renewed regardless if your school standing (academic, financial, management, …).