California Charter School Movement Grows, Enrolls Over Half A Million Students

November 17, 2014

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(Sacramento, California) - The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) announced today that an estimated 547,800 students are enrolled in charter public schools across the state for the 2014-15 school year. An additional 87 new charter schools opened their doors, bringing the total number of charter schools in California to 1,184. California remains the state with the greatest number of charter public schools, and the most students enrolled in charters, anywhere in the country.

Momentum in California's charter movement builds each year as parents choose the charter school option in ever greater numbers. Yet we are unable to keep up with parental demand as the list of students waiting to attend charter schools grows. A record 91,000 students are on charter school waiting lists in California, proving that more families would choose the charter public school option if there were sufficient space to serve them.

"Year after year, we see parents demanding high quality school choice options for their children. This year is no exception," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO of CCSA. "And more new schools are opening as independent charter public schools, making the most of the flexibility and autonomy that charters offer by doing whatever it takes to meet the individual needs of their students."

Evidence over the past five years argues that the public has never been more supportive of charter public schools than they are right now based on growth in charter school enrollment, waiting list numbers, and polling data. This growth in support has happened during a period when charter public schools have been held more accountable than traditional public schools and have strengthened their performance, especially with historically underserved students. As California's charter school movement continues to build momentum, the need for improved facilities solutions and a more favorable authorizing environment also increases.

"Charters are getting academic results. That fact is undeniable," continued Wallace. "We see that the number of charter schools making gains in student achievement are growing. At the same time, charters that aren't succeeding with students are closing. In the 2013-14 school year, 34 charters closed. Among those with data, more than half (13) were among the lowest performing charters in the state. Overall, this means that tens of thousands of California's students are being educated in better performing charter schools than just five years ago."

About the California Charter Schools Association
The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) advances the charter school movement through state and local advocacy, leadership on accountability, and resources for member schools. CCSA's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming nonā€charter public schools on every measure. For more information, please visit our website at