Do charter schools play a significant role in the American education system?

Why is this question important? Charter schools have been promoted as a solution to poorly performing schools. The number of charter schools has grown by more than 200% in the past decade. This development has been praised by reformers and denounced by public school advocates including teacher unions. How big a role is this movement having on public schools?

See further discussion below.


Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics

Results: Charter schools are growing at a rapid rate. The shift of more than1.4 million students in 40 states from traditional public school to charter schools is having a significant impact on local school budgets during a period when there are fewer dollars to go around as a consequence of the economic downturn after 2007.


National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences; Web site: