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Charter Schools

"The Accountability Report: Charter Schools"

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Since the first charter school opened its doors in 1992, 657 of the schools—or nearly 13 percent—have closed, with financial problems or mismanagement the leading reasons cited, according to a study by a pro-charter group.

The report, by the Washington-based Center on Education Reform, offers the first-ever state-by-state breakdown of charter school closures. To date, the most charters have closed in California (103), Arizona (96), and Florida (82)—the three states with the largest numbers of operating charters.

Meanwhile, no charters have ever been closed in five states: Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

While reasons for the charter closures vary, the report says that 41 percent of them “were a result of financial deficiencies caused by either low student enrollment or inequitable funding.” The report says an additional 27 percent of schools were closed because of “mismanagement,” and 14 percent were shut down for poor academic performance.

At the same time, the report contends, 10 percent were closed “for reasons that had nothing to do with the quality of the charter school, but everything to do with a hostile policy environment.”

Vol. 28, Issue 25, Page 5

Published in Print: March 18, 2009, as Charter Schools
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