Charter school enrollment is at an all-time high in many cities, according to a new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Nearly 3 million students now attend charter schools, or roughly one in 16 public school students nationwide.
Charter enrollment is at record highs in New Orleans, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Houston, among other urban districts. The share of public school students in charter schools is also at record highs in those cities. Data are for the 2014-15 school year, the most recent available.
New Orleans boasts the highest share of charter students in the nation, with over 90 percent of its public students enrolled in charter schools. Only 23 percent of Los Angeles public school students attend charters, but at more than 150,000, that's still more students numerically than any other city in the country.
"Charter public schools have a long track record of meeting students' specific needs, preparing them to succeed in college, careers and life, and reducing achievement gaps," said Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. "We expect enrollment will continue to grow in order to keep pace with parental demand."
With 44 percent of public school students in charter schools, Washington has the fourth-highest charter enrollment share by city. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranks Washington as the healthiest charter school movement in the country, in recognition of how well the district's charter schools are performing and how well the charter law has been implemented.