The U.S. continues to see a rise in the number of charter schools — and one education reformer expects the recent political “tide” to fuel the supply needed to meet that increasing demand.
The creation of these innovative public schools grew by nine percent this current year, and now nearly 5,500 schools are serving more than 1.7 million American students. Jeanne Allen, president of The Center for Education Reform, says it been consistent over the last few years “that charter schools continue to grow with increasing demand for better quality education and choices for parents.”
Allen tells OneNewsNow that one of the main challenges for the charter-school movement now is that there is simply not enough supply to meet the demand.
“And that,” she explains, “has a lot to do with where some states are — both in terms of what their law allows for the number of schools, as well as sometimes with reticent or hesitant authorizers like school boards that simply don’t want to approve [more charter schools] even though there are viable applications out there.”
Allen argues that another one-million students on waiting lists could probably fill another 5,000 charter schools — and she believes the results from last week’s midterm elections should help to fill that need.
“With new governors and many states with new state legislatures, [and] with a tide that really appreciates the fact that we have children who are less than 40 percent proficient in reading, there’s no dearth of need,” she contends. “…In fact, there’s a huge demand — and I think we’re going to see a really robust 2011 when it comes to state charter-school laws.”
As it stands now, 41 state s and the District of Columbia have charter-school laws on the books.
SOURCE: OneNewsNow, http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=1229770