Charter School Market Share for 2012

Commentary

Charter School Market Share for 2012

Subsection of Annual Privatization Report 2013: Education

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Charter schools, which are based on contracts between an education authority and an individual school, continue to be the most prominent example of privatization in education. Since the first charter school law was passed in 1992, the charter school sector has expanded across the United States. As of 2012 more than 2 million students attend charter schools in 41 states and the District of Columbia. These students represent almost 5 percent of the total enrollment in public schools.1 In addition to those already enrolled in charter schools, more than 610,000 students across the country are on waiting lists to attend charter schools-a number likely to rise in the future due the growing demand for charter school enrollment.

In 2012 school districts’ share of students attending charter schools hit a record high. According to an annual report released in November 2012 by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), seven districts have at least 30 percent of their public school students enrolled in public charter schools, 25 districts have 20 percent or more of their public school students enrolled in charter schools, and more than 100 districts now have at least 10 percent of public school students in charter schools.2

Additional key findings of the report include:

New Orleans continues to have top market share: Charter schools in New Orleans increased their market share to serve 76 percent of public school students in the 2011-12 school year. In addition to having the highest percentage of public school students enrolled in charters in the nation, New Orleans charter schools are showing impressive performance, and are approaching Louisiana state average educational achievement-an accomplishment rarely achieved by urban public schools.

Eight new districts made the list for top market share: The top 10 districts by charter school market share percentage now includes 20 districts due to ties in percentages. The eight new districts are: San Antonio; Indianapolis; Roosevelt, AZ; Adams County, CO; Grand Rapids, MI; Philadelphia; Milwaukee, and Phoenix Union High, AZ. Figure 1 shows the percentage of charter school students by district for the 20 school districts with the highest percentage of public school students in charter schools.

Figure 1: Districts Serving Highest Percentage of Public Charter School Students

Table 1 below shows the top districts serving the highest percentage of public charter school students.

Table 1: Districts Serving the Highest Percentage of Public Charter School Students

2012 Rank School District State Charter Market Share Total District Enroll Rank in 2011 Market Share 2011
1 New Orleans Public School System LA 76% 42,695 1 70%
2 Detroit Public Schools MI 41% 113,712 3 37%
District of Columbia Public Schools DC 41% 76,753 2 39%
3 Kansas City, Missouri School District MO 37% 26,564 4 35%
4 Flint City School District MI 33% 14,312 5 32%
5 Gary Community School Corporation IN 31% 14,770 6 30%
St. Louis Public Schools MO 31% 35,820 7 29%
6 Cleveland Metropolitan School District OH 28% 57,413 10 23%
7 Albany City School District NY 26% 10,810 10 23%
Dayton Public Schools OH 26% 22,321 8 27%
San Antonio Independent School District TX 26% 59,243 21%
8 Indianapolis Public Schools IN 25% 42,688 22%
Roosevelt School District 60 AZ 25% 14,148 19%
Toledo Public Schools OH 25% 33,008 10 23%
Youngstown City Schools OH 25% 10,183 9 24%
9 Adams County Schools 50 CO 23% 12,680 22%
Grand Rapids Public Schools MI 23% 22,058 20%
The School District of Philadelphia PA 23% 201,063 20%
10 Milwaukee Public Schools WI 22% 85,994 19%
Phoenix Union High School District AZ 22% 33,378 19%

Source: A Growing Movement: America’s Largest Charter School Communities. (Washington: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2012).

Seven school districts reach at least 30 percent market share: These school districts include New Orleans (76 percent); Detroit (41 percent); District of Columbia (41 percent); Kansas City, MO (37 percent); Flint, MI (33 percent); Gary, IN (31 percent), and newly joining St. Louis (31 percent).

Twenty-five school districts are at 20 percent or more: The number of school districts with 20 percent or more public charter school market share increased the most in the 2011-12 school year and will likely continue to grow. Figure 2 below shows the growth in the number of school districts with at least 20 percent market share for charter schools.

Figure 2: Number of School Districts with at Least 20 Charter School Percent Market Share Grew the Most in 2011-12

Three school districts repeat top growth two years in a row: Los Angeles, Memphis and New York City made the top 10 list for charter school enrollment growth two years in a row. The three districts increased charter school enrollment by 52,502 students between 2009-10 and 2011-12, a two year growth rate of 52 percent. Figure 3 shows the growth in the number of charter school students from 2011 to 2012 for the top 10 districts serving the highest number of charter school students.

Figure 3: Top 10 Districts Serving the Highest Number of Public Charter School Students

Table 2 shows the total number of students enrolled in each district that ranks in the top ten for the highest number of public charter school students.

Table 2: Districts Serving the Highest Number of Public Charter School Students

2012 Rank School District State Charter Enroll Total District Enroll Rank in 2011 Charter Enrollment in 2011
1 Los Angeles Unified School District CA 98,576 661,301 1 79,385
2 New York City Department of Education NY 48,057 1,018,817 4 38,743
3 Detroit Public Schools MI 47,086 113,712 2 45,073
4 The School District of Philadelphia PA 46,801 201,063 3 40,322
5 Chicago Public Schools IL 44,870 403,385 5 37,909
6 Miami-Dade County Public Schools FL 41,767 350,227 7 35,380
7 Houston Independent School District TX 40,549 228,574 6 37,499
8 New Orleans Public School System LA 32,597 42,695 9 27,728
9 District of Columbia Public Schools DC 31,562 76,753 8 29,366
10 Broward County Public Schools FL 30,438 259,133 10 24,150

Source: A Growing Movement: America’s Largest Charter School Communities. (Washington: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2012).

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Endnotes

1 A Growing Movement: America’s Largest Charter School Communities. (Washington: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, 2012).

2 Ibid.

Katie Furtick is a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation, where her research focuses on regulatory issues, education policy, and school choice.