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Charter school enrollment has grown considerably in the U.S.

Charter schools have become increasingly popular here in America over the past several years. This can be seen in surging enrollment.

In the 2003-2004 school year, less than a million (around 800,000) U.S. students went to charter schools. Also, charter school students only made up 1.6 percent of all U.S. public school students that school year.

By the 2013-2014 school year, charter school enrollment in the U.S. had grown to around 2.5 million. Charter schools’ share of overall U.S. public school student enrollment also rose to over 5 percent.

This is quite a bit of growth for one decade. Why do you think charter schools have become so popular? Do you think the country will continue to see big surges in charter school enrollment?

Charter schools are present in most states, including here in California. Quite a few California students go to charter schools. In fact, California had the highest charter school enrollment total in the country in the 2013-2014 school year. Its total for that year was estimated to be 513,400 students.

Charter schools have a wide range of different types of students, including students with disabilities. It is important to know that charter schools have a duty to provide appropriate special education services to their students with special needs, just like other public schools. So, as charter schools become an increasingly prevalent type of education experience, one hopes such schools take great care to ensure they are giving their special needs students the support and services the law entitles such students to.

Parents of charter school students with special needs can take questions they have about their child’s rights and what the law requires of their child’s school when it comes to special education matters to a skilled education attorney.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, “Charter School Enrollment,” Accessed Sept. 14, 2016

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