Public charter schools experienced enrollment gains amid the historic decline in overall public school enrollment. Hundreds of thousands of families switched to charter schools during the first full year of the COVID pandemic, signaling strong demand for new public school options. Charter school enrollment has not grown this much in a single year in half a decade. Conversely, district enrollment dropped precipitously during the same period.
According to Voting with Their Feet: A State-level Analysis of Public Charter School and District Public School Enrollment Trends, a new report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, charter school enrollment increased 7% during the 2020-21 school year. Nearly 240,000 new students enrolled in these unique public schools, while 1.4 million students left their district public schools. Charter schools are an essential part of the public school ecosystem. Without them, overall public school enrollment declines would have been far worse, and many families would have suffered even more during this time of unprecedented challenge. View the complete article and report here.