Report: D.C. charter schools have third-highest market share in the nation

December 10, 2013

The District’s fast-growing charter schools now have the third-highest market share in the nation, enrolling a larger proportion of students than in every city except New Orleans and Detroit, according to a report released Tuesday.

Nationwide, charter school enrollment has grown 80 percent over the past five years, according to the annual market share report, produced by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Growth has been particularly strong in urban areas.

The report is based on data from the 2012-13 school year, when D.C. charter schools enrolled 43 percent of the city’s public school students, sparking questions about the future of the traditional public school system, which closed 13 schools for low enrollment.

The year before, the District tied with Detroit for the second-highest charter-school market share at 41 percent.

Detroit’s charter school population has since ballooned to 51 percent of the city’s kids. In New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina forced a rebuilding of public education, 79 percent of students are enrolled in charters.

Across the country, 32 cities had a market share of at least 20 percent, meaning that at least one in five students was enrolled in a charter school.

Emma Brown writes about D.C. education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.
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