Record 158,000 Students on Waiting Lists for Charter Public Schools in California

May 4, 2015

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(Sacramento, CA) - The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) released new estimates that show a record 158,000 students are on charter public school waiting lists across the state. When taking into account the number of students who are on more than one charter school waitlist in California that number jumps to approximately 278,000 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 increasingly high parent demand, growth in charter school enrollment, and statewide polling data," said Jed Wallace, president and CEO, CCSA. "This growth in support has occurred during a period when charter public schools have strengthened their performance, especially with historically underserved students."

"As independent public schools, charter schools have the ability to try innovative approaches to teaching and learning in the classroom. And as more families learn that charter public school students are gaining extra weeks and months of learning in math and reading compared to their peers who attend traditional district schools, more families are choosing the charter school option," commented Elizabeth Robitaille, SVP Academic and Performance Management, CCSA.

"We want to ensure every student in the state of California gets the education he or she deserves," continued Wallace. "We need the support of policymakers, charter school leaders, community members and other stakeholders to work together to address the needs of our growing community of charter school parents and students. Which is one reason that today, and each year during National Charter Schools Week, hundreds of charter school supporters rally at the State Capitol to make our voices heard on critical legislation that directly impacts the future of the charter school movement."

Below are unduplicated waitlist estimates for various geographic areas across California. Due to estimation methodology, CCSA only releases estimates for areas that contain 20 or more charter schools.

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