LAUSD leads charter school growth in California, and nation
Doris D Quintanilla | February 14, 2014
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California launched the largest number of charter schools in the nation last year, according to a report released this week by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS).
The state saw the start of 104 charter schools, bringing its total to 1,130. Almost 520,000 California students of more than 6 million now attend charters in the state. Other states with big charter school gains were Arizona, with 87 new ones, and Florida, with 75.
LA Unified continues to lead the growth among school districts, with 32 new charters that serve about 15,000 students, according to the California Charter School Association (CCSA). There are now 263 charter schools serving 143,580 students in LAUSD. That’s about about 20 percent of the student population.
According to a report issued last month by the CCSA, charter high schools in Los Angeles are outperforming traditional district schools in graduating college-ready students of all backgrounds. Charter schools enroll 19 percent of Los Angeles high school students and deliver 37 percent of the city’s college-ready graduates, the report found.
In California, charters are publicly-funded schools that are generally overseen by local school boards but exempt from some laws governing school districts. While they must operate as non-profit organizations by state law, they receive most funding directly from the state, bypassing the district, thus drawing criticism by supporters of traditional public schools.