MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time ever, one-in-five students in the school districts of Minneapolis and St. Paul attend public charter schools, according to a new study.
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released its annual market share report findings on Wednesday, indicating that Minneapolis-St. Paul had surpassed 20 percent charter school attendance. They are two of 32 U.S. school districts that have eclipsed that mark.
“Everyone wants the basics — reading, writing, and math, but more and more districts are offering distinctive programs in arts and languages,” said Joe Nathan, director of the Center for School Change. “We know that literally thousands of families have made the decision to move to charter schools, largely because those programs have become more widely available (in Minneapolis and St. Paul).”
Both Twin Cities school districts also demonstrated significant increases in charter school enrollment over the previous year. Minneapolis went up from 8,877 students to 9,523 in public charter schools, a seven percent charter school enrollment gain. St. Paul went up from 8,776 to 9,610, a 10 percent enrollment gain.
Two other Minnesota districts also made the list of American school districts demonstrating sizeable charter school market share: Duluth Public Schools (14 percent) and Robbinsdale Area Schools (13 percent).
Overall, charter school enrollment increased nationally by approximately 225,000 students during the 2012-2013 school year and there are now more than two million students attending these independently run, innovative public schools. Today, one in every 20 public school children in America attends a charter school.