Sunday, January 23, 2011

Number of Charter School Students in the State Almost Matches Denver's Enrollment

Just a couple hundred more students enrolled in charter schools and the total would surpass Denver's enrollment. The funded count of charter school students, using Oct 2010 data, is 69,951.5 and Denver's enrollment is 70,160.5. This means charter school students, collectively, represent the third largest school district in the state, right behind Denver and Jefferson County.

Last year the Adams 12 school district had the largest percentage of charter school students, but this year they slipped to third place. Brighton rose to the top again with 18.71% of their students enrolled in charter schools and Falcon 49 was second with 18.37% enrolled in charter schools. Adams 12 had 16.72% in charter schools.

Jefferson County, the largest school district in the state with 80,044 students ranked 19th in the list of districts with charter school students. Jeffco charter schools enroll 5,307 students for 6.63% of the total enrollment.

One of the eligibility criteria for a school district to qualify for exclusive chartering authority is having more than 3% of charter school students than the state average. This year that state average grew to 8.97%, up from 8.20% last year. Nine districts have enrollments above 3% over the state average: in addition to the three districts already mentioned, Cheyenne Mountain has 16.03%, Greeley 15.32%, Harrison 14.36%, Academy 14.04%, Lewis-Palmer 13.21% and Douglas 11.99%.

Taking these comparisons to the national perspective (using 2009 data) Adams 12 ties for twelfth place in school district market share (Source: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, A Growing Movement: America's Largest Charter School Communities, 2010).

In the same report Brighton ties for 13th place, Falcon ranks 15th, and Pueblo 60 ranks 17th. Colorado has a total of ten districts with more than 10% market share according to the report. Denver Public Schools has 10% in this report. Now that DPS has exceeded 30 charter schools their percentage is sure to increase in the future.

The top two school districts with the highest market share of charter school students are 1) New Orleans Public School System and 2) District of Columbia Public Schools. New Orleans has 61% of their students enrolled in charter schools. After Hurricane Katrina many of the region's schools were replaced with public charter schools in an effort to use the restructuring required due to hurricane damage to also reform the school system. The District of Columbia has 38% of its students in charter schools.

No comments:

Post a Comment