Study: Philadelphia among top 10 markets for charter schools

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VINCE TALOTTA/TORSTAR news service

Philadelphia is now a top 10 market for charter schools in the United States, according to a new report from the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools (NAPCS).

The report, titled “A Growing Movement: America’s Largest Charter School Communities,” shows that 23 percent of students enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia attend charters, the ninth highest percentage in the country. In 2011-2012, the city’s charter enrollment was up three percent from the previous year.

The report shows the charter growth was duplicated nationwide, with 110 school districts now having at least 10 percent of public school students enrolled in charters – the first time the number has surpassed 100 schools.

The total number of public school students attending charters in Philadelphia rose to 46,801, the fourth-highest, down from third a year ago. New York City rose to second with 48,057 public school students enrolled in charters, up from fourth the previous year.

Los Angeles Unified School District continues to lead all school districts in charter enrollment, with 98,576 public school students enrolled in charters, representing 15 percent of public school students.

In Philadelphia, the growth is likely to continue as district officials
consider closing up to 40 schools this year. The district has also
placed several underperforming schools in the hands of charter operators
over the last three years as part of its turnaround strategy.


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