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Charter schools grow while more than 9 out of 10 students stay in regular public schools

November 22, 2011
Charter schools are one of the most vibrant sectors of the educational landscape, says Kirst.
Louis Freedburg

Charter schools now enroll 7 percent of the state’s public school students, according to just-released figures.

“Charter schools are able to take on an expanding level of responsibility for public school education in the state,” said Jed Wallace, president of the California Charter Schools Association. Some 100 charter schools opened their doors this year, as EdSource reported last week.

The nearly 1,000 charter schools in California now serve 412,000 students, up from 364,000 students last year, according to the association. The 48,000-student jump in statewide charter enrollment in a single year is equivalent in size to a large urban school district.

But despite that robust growth charter schools will, for the indefinite future, likely serve a relatively small proportion of California’s young. The vast majority of the state’s children—some 93 percent—are still enrolled in regular public schools, underscoring the need to continue to implement reforms that benefit all students.

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