The number of charter schools increased by 11 percent in 2006, bringing the total number of such schools to 3,940 nationwide, a study by the Washington-based Center for Education Reform estimates.
More than half the students—54 percent—enrolled in the public but largely independent schools were from low-income households, and 53 percent were members of minorities, according to the CER, a research and advocacy group that favors such schools. The focused curricula and small class sizes in charter schools are the main attractions for students from households that cannot afford private schooling, suggests the study. Researchers gathered data from a survey sent to charter schools nationwide.
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