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All About Charter Schools

  • There are more than 5,400 charter schools serving more than 1.7 million children across the country. (Fall, 2010) Visit the National Charter School Directory for a complete searchable listing and website links.
  • Charters schools are growing at a rapid pace. For the 2010-2011 school year, 465 new charter schools opened in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Find a charter school in your state at www.charterschoolsearch.com.
  • Today, 42 states and the District of Columbia have charter school laws in place.
  • Of the 41 laws that CER ranked in 2011 only 13 have strong laws that do not require significant revisions. Get more information on states’ charter law grade, ranking at analysis at www.charterschoolresearch.com.
  • Charter schools across the United States are funded at 61 percent of their district counterparts. On average, charter schools are funded at $6,585 per pupil compared to $10,771 per pupil at conventional district public schools.
  • There is a direct correlation between strong laws and successful charter schools. Of those states with strong laws, 65 percent show positive achievement gains; of the weak states, only two demonstrate the same level of progress. The CER 2009 Accountability Report provides an in depth state-by-state review of charter school achievement and accountability.
  • Charter School Closures: Of the over 5,250 charter schools opened between 1992 and 2009, 657 were closed:
    – 41 percent of the nation’s charter closures resulted from financial deficiencies caused by either low student enrollment or inequitable funding
    – 27 percent were closed for mismanagement
    – 14 percent were closed for poor academic performance