California’s charter school enrollment grew by nearly 20 percent this fall, to more than 200,000 students, while 84 new schools opened their doors, the California Charter Schools Association announced this month.
The new enrollment of 32,000 was about evenly split between new charter schools and the expansion of existing ones. The group says that about 5 percent of California public schools are charter schools.
“Charter schools are growing as fast as they are for one simple reason: They are working,” said Caprice Young, who heads the association.
In all, the group says, California has 574 of the publicly financed but largely independent schools, serving more than 212,000 students, well above the figures in both categories for other states.
For the 2004-05 school year, California’s total student enrollment was 6.3 million. The state has more than 9,000 public schools.
A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 2005 edition of Education Week