Fast Facts on NC Charters: What’s in the 2021 Annual Report?

By May 24, 2022 News

The 2021 Annual Charter Schools Report is due to the General Assembly in June 2022. Earlier this month, the State Board of Education discussed it. What’s in the report? Data affirm the charter movement in North Carolina is growing in size and popularity.

North Carolina statute directs the State Board to report information annually to the state legislature, including:

  • Impacts of charter schools on district schools
  • Student progress
  • Charter best practices

What are some key takeaways from this year’s annual report?

Enrollment and waitlists

  • State charter schools continue to grow in popularity: For instance, in 2019-20, charter schools enrolled 117,000 students. That number increased to more than 126,000 students in 2020-21. This year, in 2021-22, over 130,000 students are attending public charter schools.
  • N.C. charter students represent less than 10% of public school enrollment: The latest charter enrollment figure comprises 8.6% of the overall public school population.
  • Thousands of students languish on charter waitlists: According to self-reported data, 73% of charter schools have waitlists, totaling more than 60,000 students.

2021 charter growth

  • The charter movement continues to expand each year: Six new charter schools opened in 2021 and eight are scheduled to open in 2022.
  • The state received 21 charter applications: Three of these applications were accelerated approvals, five were approvals on a standard timeline, and two are pending approval on a standard timeline. The State Board will vote on the two pending applications in June.

Performance Framework

  • Charter schools exceed state financial and operational performance goals: 96% of charter schools in North Carolina met or exceeded all financial and operational goals. The target set by the State Board of Education is 90%. See the report graphic below.

Source: 2021 Annual Charter Schools Report

Find the report here. Access the presentation from the Office of Charter Schools here.