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Popularity of charter schools bad news for teacher unions

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) cristens new charter school
Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) cristens new charter school
Getty Photo

The charter school concept is catching on fast in America. The total number of students now attending public charter schools surpassed 2.5 million in 2013 as more than 600 new schools opened, according to report release Friday by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Only 790,000 charter school students were enrolled in 2003 and 288,000 additional students this year compared to the previous school year. There are now 6,400 public charter schools across the country, and this year's 7 percent growth in the number of operating public charter schools combined with 13 percent growth in public charter school student enrollment.

This demonstrates the parent’s access to other options which is bad news for the powerful teachers unions which vote heavily in favor of the Democratic Party.

Reasons ranging from low enrollment in their public schools, financial concerns and low academic performance have been the primary cases for charter schools skyrocketing in popularity.

Good examples of the explosion include California which led the nation in new charters for this school year followed by Arizona, Florida, Texas and Ohio.

Iowa has the fewest at three, Wyoming has four, and Maine has five.

A report released by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research disclosed that charters in New York City have outperformed district public schools in 29 out of 36 performance categories over the last three years.

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