With the addition of 104 schools and 49,174 students this fall, California’s charter schools grew 10 percent to serve 519,000 students, or 8.4 percent of the state’s 6.2 million K-12 students, the California Charter Schools Association announced Thursday. The Los Angeles region had the largest growth, with 45 new charters opening.

The 1,130 charter schools are the most in the nation. Despite the substantial growth in schools this year, the charter schools association said that 50,000 students statewide were on a wait list for a charter school. Last year, 29 charter schools closed.

Jed Wallace, president and CEO of the association, predicted that the equalization of funding between school districts and charter schools under the state’s new school finance system, the Local Control Funding Formula, will spur further expansion of charter schools (see previous EdSource Today analysis of the impact).

“Over the next several years, I think we will continue to see significant additional momentum to what has already been a very robust growth picture for charter schools in California,” Wallace said in a statement.


Filed under: Charter Schools, Quick Hits

Comment Policy

EdSource encourages a robust debate on education issues and welcomes comments from our readers. The level of thoughtfulness of our community of readers is rare among online news sites. To preserve a civil dialogue, writers should avoid personal, gratuitous attacks and invective. Comments should be relevant to the subject of the article responded to. EdSource retains the right not to publish inappropriate and non-germaine comments.


EdSource encourages commenters to use their real names. Commenters who do decide to use a pseudonym should use it consistently.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  1. navigio says:

    This is an extremely important milestone.

    As far back as ed-data has charter enrollment numbers (02-03), there has never been a year in which the number of students added to charters was lower than in the previous year. Until this year, that is. The same can be said for the number of new charters (going back to 07-08).

    I have been wondering for at least 4 years whether the charter growth curve would ever crack exponential. Perhaps now it will just become linear?

  2. CarolineSF says:

    Belated comment: Charter schools’ claims of waiting-list numbers are not verifiable, are self-reported and are obviously self-promoting. Thanks for at least attributing this one, but to maintain responsible journalistic standards, they shouldn’t be used at all without more-prominent disclaimers. (IF they’re used at all.)

    Back when I was doing a local education blog a few years ago, the long-struggling local charter chain Envision Schools publicly claimed to have long waiting lists. Yet at the time, its board-meeting minutes were posted online, and they showed that the board was voicing concern about underenrollment. So that demonstrates the problem with the press’ simply repeating those claims as though they were solid and valid.

    Other charter schools that claim to have “long waiting lists” also show very high attrition — students who leave and are not replaced. If the waiting lists are so long, why are those departed students not replaced from the waiting lists?