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Reports & Research

November 11, 2010


Center for Education Reform report...

Studies Find Charter Schools Grew Nationally By Nine Percent in 2010; California Now Has 912 Charters

A new research study released this week by The Center for Education Reform finds that the number of US charter schools grew nationally by nine percent in 2010.  As of today, 5,453 charter schools now serve the families of more than 1.7 million American students.

Another study, released on Wednesday by the California Charter Schools Association, found that there are now 912 charter schools in the state – 115 more than the previous year.

From the very first charter school's doors opening in 1993, to just over 1,600 only ten years ago, to well over 5,000 schools today, charters have taken root in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

Throughout the year, the Center for Education Reform tracks the creation of new charter schools and marks the closing of others, working directly with schools, organizations and states to determine accurate numbers not only for schools themselves, but for their student populations as well, providing the public with the most up-to-date information possible.

A summary chart of charter school numbers and enrollment is available for download at

On Wednesday, The California Charter Schools Association (CSSA) announced that 115 new charter schools opened their doors at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year.

The total number of charter schools in California now stands at 912, the highest number of any state in the country.

Of the 115 new charter schools, 86% are start-ups and 14% are conversions.   Site-based schools continue to dominate, with 91 total new schools (79%), though independent study and combination charters are increasing every year.

Los Angeles County topped the California list with 31 new charters for a total of 242, the highest number of charter schools in any county in the U.S. 

Los Angeles County was followed by:

=> San Diego County with 11 new charter schools, for a total of 92;
=> Placer County with 7 schools for a total of 17;
=> Butte County with six new charters for a total of 16;
=> San Joaquin County also with six for a total of 26 schools;
=> San Bernardino had 5 new schools for a total of 38;
=> Santa Clara also with five for a total of 38; and
=> Sonoma County with five new schools for a total of 36.

“Charter schools are growing beyond urban areas, and into rural communities,” said Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the CCSA.