Monthly Archives

July 2022

National dashboard puts charter data at users’ fingertips

By News

Looking for charter data? The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has published a Charter School Data Dashboard that’s updated for 2022. The dashboard includes both national and state-level data.  For instance, you can view charter enrollment by state. Or, you can see the distribution of charter schools by locale. Alternatively, you can assess student demographics.

A charter movement with steady growth

What’s the latest data on the charter movement?

  • 44 states have charter laws
  • 3.4 million students attend charter schools
  • 7,700 charter schools operate nationwide
  • 205,600 teachers work at charter schools

National data show a charter movement with consistent growth. Here’s a snapshot from the Alliance of growth since 2012:

Source: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, “Charter School Data Dashboard.”

Want to take a deeper dive?

Access tables and figures. Or, navigate state-level data. For instance, here’s North Carolina’s distribution of charter schools, by locale:

Source: National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, State-level Data: North Carolina.



New 2022-23 Opportunities for Charter Leaders through NC ACCESS

By News

This year, in 2022-23, the NC ACCESS Program is offering two new professional development opportunities for charter leaders. First, teachers and administrators can participate in Science of Reading (LETRS) training. Training is open to 200 teachers and 100 administrators. Interested? Register here.

NC ACCESS Fellowship opens to all charter leaders

Next, the program is opening up the NC ACCESS Fellowship to 100 charter leaders. Charter leaders do not need to be current program subgrantees to participate. Apply here. Please note that the deadline to apply is this Friday, July 29.

Here’s more information about the fellowship from NC ACCESS and the Office of Charter Schools:

To date, the ACCESS Fellowship Institute has been exclusively open to NC ACCESS subgrantees. Since we have already met our goal for awarding subgrants, we have decided to open this year’s Fellowship Institute by application to all NC charter schools. The 2022-2023 Fellowship Institute will include eight monthly sessions held in-person at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh, NC. We meet from approximately 10:00am – 4:00pm (some sessions noted below have earlier start times) and will provide a light breakfast and lunch. We will only have capacity for 100 participants and are inviting one person from your school to apply. These sessions are designed for school leaders or other building administrators and previous NC ACCESS Fellowship cohort participants can apply. You must be committed to attending all eight sessions.

Learn more about session speakers and topics here.

Funding equity comes to Missouri charter schools

By Legislation, News

Funding equity is coming to Missouri charter schools. Currently, the state still has quite a small charter movement–just 26,000 students. Charter schools operate just in St. Louis and Kansas City. Yet, the state’s charter movement has faced funding challenges similar to other states. That is beginning to change: At the end of June, Governor Mike Parsons signed HB 1552, introducing funding equity for Missouri charter schools.

Fixing disparities in local funding for charter schools

Dean Johnson, the president of the Quality Schools Coalition, writes about the path to victory in today’s issue of the Charter Folk newsletter. Before the law, charter students’ funding lagged district students’ funding by 20-30%, Johnson writes. Inequities arose from local funding disparities; the law fixes that “glitch” in the funding formula. Now, HB 1552 will increase charter funding by $62 million a year. The law takes effect this school year, on August 28.


Missouri Governor Mike Parsons signs HB 1552. Photo credit: Charter Folk newsletter, July 21, 2022.

In Missouri, the path to victory was populated with parents

Johnson attributes the victory to several factors, including groups coalescing around one “consensus priority,” engaging with others across the aisle, and investing for the duration. (The law’s passage took three years to accomplish.) He also credits the power of parent advocacy. Here’s what he writes about that:

In 2019 parents were advocating, but the overall effort was nascent. Legislators would tell us, “I just don’t hear from charter school parents. But I sure hear from charter opponents.” But on the last day of the 2022 legislative session, after funding equity was headed to the governor’s desk, a legislator said to me as we passed in the hall, “Can you please have the charter school parents stop calling me now?”

See Johnson’s full column on Charter Folk’s site.

Read more about HB 1552 in the Missouri Independent.

View the statement from the Missouri Charter Public Schools Association.

The Coalition, working to achieve funding equity for N.C. charter schools

A key objective for the Coalition is achieving funding equity for North Carolina charter schools. How do we do that? We work to remedy existing inequities within per pupil local funding as well as state-level grants that have omitted access for charter schools. Learn more about our legislative goals here.

N.C. had one of nation’s largest 9th grade enrollment increases in 2021-22

By News

Recent data and mapping show North Carolina had one of the nation’s largest increases in 9th grade enrollment for 2021-22. National figures from Burbio, the data service platform known for tracking school opening, indicate 9th grade enrollment this past year soared in North Carolina, Maryland, New Mexico, and a number of other states. The major factor behind states’ 9th grade enrollment increases: retention, as freshmen failed to earn sufficient course credit, during months of pandemic learning, to move on to the next grade.

In 2021-22, North Carolina and Maryland led the nation in 9th grade enrollment increases

In North Carolina, for instance, 9th grade enrollment increased by 11.9%. This figure was double what would be expected. In fact, according to an earlier article from WRAL, the state’s retention numbers represented the “highest 9th grade retention in two decades.”

Here’s the recent national table from Burbio:

Source: Burbio’s weekly newsletter (Week of 6/13: “Lockdown Buckets”)

Maryland’s 9th grade enrollment increase tracks North Carolina’s. Other states with especially large upticks in 9th grade enrollment this past year included New Mexico (11.4%), West Virginia (10.3%), Arkansas (10%), South Carolina (9.1%), Texas (9.1%), and Georgia (8.2%). As the screenshot below shows, 9th grade enrollment grew by 5% or more in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

Source: “Freshmen, Held Back During Pandemic, Fuel ‘Bulge’ in 9th Grade Enrollment,” Linda Jacobson, The 74.

A recent news story in The 74 provides context for 9th grade retention nationwide. In North Carolina, the article notes that the “increase in freshmen far outpaced that of kindergartners.”

North Carolina’s 9th grade enrollment increase was three times the national average

This table from Burbio shows a nationwide increase in 9th grade enrollment of 3.9% in 2021-22. That means that North Carolina’s 9th grade enrollment increase was three times the national average.

Source: Burbio

At national charter investor workshop, a focus on charter growth

By News

A national workshop for charter school investors this year is focused intensively on charter growth. The two-day workshop, taking place yesterday and today in Chicago, Illinois, is sponsored by the Ziegler Group. The event brings charter school investors together with charter industry experts.

Charter schools represent a strong, viable investment, industry experts affirm. In fact, demand is driving rising charter enrollment. In addition to looking at charter growth, this year’s event is also evaluating financial, legal, and political issues impacting the charter movement.

Headlining the charter growth portion of the agenda: A “deep dive” on North Carolina and Florida, two states with strong charter movements. Both are top 10 states for charter enrollment, according to recent data from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Coalition leaders participate in panel addressing N.C.’s charter landscape

Yesterday, Lindalyn Kakadelis, the executive director of the Coalition, and Gregg Sinders, a Coalition Board member, spoke as part of the North Carolina panel. Michelle Vruwink, a charter leader and founder, and Scott Rolfs, a managing director at Ziegler, also participated in the panel discussion.


Expert Panel, “North Carolina Charter Schools: 2022 Political, Legal & Financial Update,” July 13, 2022. Panelists (left to right): Gregg Sinders, Coalition Board member and Director of Business Development and Government Relations, Charter One; Michelle Vruwink, Founder and Executive Director, The Franklin School of Innovation; Lindalyn Kakadelis, Coalition Executive Director; and Scott Rolfs, Managing Director and Group Head, Ziegler.

Charter schools occupy increasing market share in K-12 education

What’s important to know about North Carolina’s charter school sector? First, the state’s charter movement is experiencing steady and consistent growth. Enrollment trends show charter schools occupying increasing market share in K-12 education. Moreover, even though parental demand for charter schools has been at high levels, it shows no signs of waning.

Source: “North Carolina Charter Schools: 2022 Political, Legal & Financial Update,” 2022 National Charter School Investor Workshop. Data from: National Center for Education Statistics and National Association for Public Charter Schools.

  • For another blog post about overall K-12 enrollment shifts in North Carolina, click here.

What else? Demand for charter schools continues to outpace supply. Among North Carolina charter schools, 73% reported waitlists of students hoping to enroll for the current year. Waitlists totaled more than 60,000 students, according to the state’s annual charter report.

In addition, North Carolina charter schools have a strong track record for sound financial and operational management. In 2020-21, 96% of the state’s charter schools met or exceeded all of the state’s financial and operational goals. Such goals are outlined by the North Carolina State Board of Education in its Performance Framework for charters.

“North Carolina Charter Schools: 2022 Political, Legal & Financial Update.”
Graph from: 2021 Annual Charter Schools Report. (Bottom table represents operational compliance.)

Governor signs state budget: Impacts for charters

By News
Yesterday Governor Cooper signed the budget, HB 103–2022 Appropriations Act. He made the following statement about HB 103, now Session Law 2022-74:
“Today, I signed the state budget (HB 103) that includes critical investments in education, economic development, transportation and the state workforce. This budget does not include Medicaid Expansion, but the leadership in both the House and Senate now support it and both chambers have passed it. Negotiations are occurring now and we are closer than ever to agreement on Medicaid Expansion, therefore a veto of this budget would be counterproductive.”
  • Find the Governor’s press release announcing his action here.
  • Read the budget here.

Highlights on education spending with impacts for charters

  • Teacher pay raises (Section 7A.1, pp. 43-48): Includes a 4.2% average increase in teachers’ salaries for FY 22-23.
  • School lunches (Section 7.4, p. 29): Appropriates $3.9 million for student co-pays to cover reduced price school lunches.
  • School Business System Modernization (Section 7.1, p. 28): Requires LEAs and charter schools to store school business data off-site by June 30, 2023. DPI will establish a grant program to help with the transition to an internet-based school business system.
  • Interoperable and Interconnected Student Data Systems Study (Section 7.11, pp. 39-40): Applies to public school units (PSUs) as well as community colleges and universities.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products Grant Program (Section 7.10, p. 39): Codifies and extends this program, which applies to PSUs. Grants are provided on a first come, first served basis, and are capped at $5,000.
  • Standards of student conduct (Section 7.7, pp. 30-37): Amends standards that were previously adopted, requiring them to apply to PSUs.
  • School Resource Officer Grant Match in Low-Wealth Counties (Section 7.2, p. 28): Increases the grant match and includes all PSUs.
  • School Threat Assessment Survey (Section 7.9, pp. 38-39): Requires completion of the survey from all PSUs. Schools must report data to the Center for Safer Schools.
  • Virtual education, remote academies, and virtual charter school education (Section 7.13, pp. 40-43): Incorporates the House Proposed Committee Substitute for SB 671. The Governor signed SB 671 into law last week as well.
The budget also appropriates $32 million for School Safety Grants (for students in crisis, school safety training, and more). And it funds two additional positions within the Office of Charter Schools.
Read more about the budget from WRAL here.

Charter school enrollment priority

On Friday, the Governor also signed HB 159–Education Law Changes/SL 2022-71, which extends charter school enrollment priority to the grandchildren or employees of board members (Section 2.3). The Coalition worked hard to get this provision passed and we are pleased to see it become law.

New Research Sheds Light on How Teachers Spend Their Time

By News, Research

A new national survey sheds light on how teachers spend their time, both in and out of the classroom. The survey, directed by Michael McShane of EdChoice in partnership with Hanover Research, reflects the views and experiences of 686 traditional public, charter, and private school teachers. McShane, who is the director of national research at EdChoice, wrote about the findings in Forbes yesterday.

What are some of the survey’s topline findings?

Most teachers spend a lot of time on direct instruction as well as working individually with students–or leading small groups. A range of non-teaching tasks–from professional development to meetings to test-related work– also consumes considerable time for teachers. Student discipline problems are pervasive–and often intrude on classroom teaching. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key findings.

Inside the classroom: Direct, whole-class instruction reigns supreme

  • 81% of teachers had provided direct, whole-class instruction within the past week; 44% spent at least 5 hours doing so and 24% spent over 10 hours.
  • 78% had worked with students individually; 18% had spent at least 5 hours doing so and 6% spent over 10 hours.

Source: Michael McShane, “How Do Teachers Spend Their Time?” Ed Choice

Outside the classroom: Test prep, meetings, professional development, student discipline, and more occupy teachers’ time

What about non-teaching tasks? Dealing with student discipline, attending staff meetings, engaging in professional development, and preparing for assessments are among the tasks requiring considerable amounts of teachers’ time.

Source: “How Do Teachers Spend Their Time?”

Student discipline often intrudes on classroom teaching time

Many teachers report having to deal with student disciplinary issues. In fact, in terms of classroom interruptions, student disciplinary problems topped the list.

Source: “How Do Teachers Spend Their Time?”

McShane did not find significant differences, by school sector, in teachers’ allocations of work time outside the classroom. However, he did find meaningful differences within the overall population of teachers. Here’s what he wrote in Forbes:

When I asked a question about how much time teachers spend working outside of school hours, the answers were similar from public, private, and charter school teachers. But looking within just the public school sector we see a spread of 8% of teachers spending less than an hour per week and 7% spending more than 10. Those are serious difference in teachers’ experiences that could be happening within the same school district or even building.

Find the full study write-up here.

New Numbers Reveal a Shifting K-12 Landscape in North Carolina

By News

The K-12 landscape in North Carolina continues to shift in new ways as parent preferences and the pandemic reconfigure enrollment. That’s a clear takeaway from new figures released by the state on Friday.

For 2021-22, a large private school increase and a homeschooling drop

According to figures from the state’s Division of Non-Public Education, 115,311 students attended North Carolina private schools in 2021-22, a 7.4% increase. The year before, 107,341 students attended private schools.

In fact, the 2021-22 private enrollment uptick represents the largest number in 50 years, according to the News & Observer. Meanwhile, new state numbers also show that 160,528 students attended home schools in 2021-22, a drop-off of more than 19,000 students. A spokesperson for North Carolinians for Home Education, quoted in the News & Observer article, attributes the downturn to newly-updated state records that more accurately reflect operational home schools–rather than a drop-off in homeschooling interest.

Charter school numbers continued to increase in 2021-22

What about charter schools? Enrollment continues to grow in North Carolina. 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 attended public charter schools. Those figures come from the 2021 Annual Charter Schools Report, which the Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education submitted to the General Assembly in June. (What else is in the report? Learn more here.)

However, the majority of K-12 students (around 1.35 million) in North Carolina still attend district public schools. Charter students represent 8.6% of the overall public school population in North Carolina. According to self-reported data, 73% of charter schools have waitlists, totaling more than 60,000 students.