Parental Demand for Public Charter Schools Nationwide Growing Fast, Data Show

A quick Friday freebie to wrap your mind around, compliments of Education Week‘s Sean Cavanagh:

An estimated 610,000 students are on waiting lists to attend charter schools—a jump of about 200,000 from just two years ago, a national organization says.

The National Alliance of Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) — with its brand new executive director Nina Rees — notes that there are as many students nationwide on charter school waiting lists as attend charters in the two most heavily enrolled states, or enough to “fill seven and a half Olympic Stadiums during this summer’s Olympics in London.”

Only two years ago, the waiting list estimate was about 420,000 students or 350,000 families. That’s remarkable growth of about 45 percent! Based on NAPCS data, national charter school enrollment has grown about 25 percent during the same period. In fact, the 2011-12 estimated enrollment (2,053,000) roughly equals the amount attending charter schools (1,627,000) plus those on waiting lists (420,000) from two years ago.

As a whole, the public charter sector is providing something that more and more families have come to demand: 30 percent more families in just two years, it looks like. Here in Colorado, parents can learn about all their educational options, and demand better choices, by checking out the fantastic, one-of-a-kind School Choice for Kids website.