Charter school enrollment in Minnesota has taken its biggest jump since the nation’s first such independent public schools were approved there in 1991, according to an education policy group.
For the 2004-05 school year, charter school enrollment in Minnesota reached 17,441 students—an increase of 3,195 students, or 22 percent, over last school year, according to the Center for School Change, based at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
The increase contrasts public school enrollment which fell during the same period by just over 8,000 students (not including charter students), or 1 percent, to 809,787, data compiled by the center show.
Joe Nathan, the director of the center, which supports school choice, attributed rising charter enrollment, in part, to the growing popularity and number of such schools. Minnesota has 104 charter schools compared with 64 in 2000.
A version of this article appeared in the March 09, 2005 edition of Education Week