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School Choice & Education: By the Numbers

Data on the current state of school choice programs such as tax credits, vouchers, and charter schools reveals a need to accelerate the pace of education reforms that give parents fundamental power over their children’s education:

    • The U.S. Census predicts the largest influx of school-aged children over the next 20 years at over 11 million kids. In the U.S. today, there are over 300 million people, and approximately 50 million K-12 students.


    • More than 100,000 students across the U.S. are using school choice vouchers to attend the private school of their choice. Over two dozen voucher programs exist in 14 states and D.C.



    • Tax credit-funded scholarship programs now help pay tuition for approximately 190,000 students, a school-choice program participation level that is surpassed only by enrollment in charter schools.



    • And yet, amidst all of the various opportunities made available by enacting school choice nationwide, there are an estimated less than 3 million taking advantage of charter schools, vouchers, or tax credits.


    • The average number of students on charter school wait lists has increased by 44 students since 2009, growing from approximately 233 students to 277 students. Put into context, districts like New York City calculate upwards of 50,000 students on charter school waiting lists.


    • States with charter school laws graded “A” or “B” on The Center for Education Reform’s 2013 Charter School Law Ranking & Scorecard saw 322 more charter school campuses in 2012-13 than states with laws rated “D” or “F.”


    • When it comes to giving parents fundamental power over their child’s education, most states fall below average according to CER’s Parent Power Index (PPI). Just 6 states earn scores above 80 percent, with the median PPI score coming in at 67.4 percent (Delaware).