U.S. charter schools grow, topping 5,000 for first time

Monday, November 30, 2009

The number of charter schools nationwide, on the rise since the first one opened in 1992, exceeded 5,000 for the first time this fall.

The Center for Education Reform, an advocate of charter schools, reported last week that there are 5,043 charter schools in 39 states and the District of Columbia, up from 4,624 in the last school year. The schools receive public funding but operate independently and with reduced red tape. Most are not unionized.

California has 860, more than any other state, followed by Arizona (566), Florida (413), Texas (387) and Ohio (338).

The District has 100, according to the center, while Maryland has 38 and Virginia four.

The 11 states without charter schools are Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

-- Nick Anderson

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