Moody's Investor Services Archives - North Carolina Coalition for Charter Schools

New brief: Charter school market share nationwide continues to grow

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A new education brief from¬†K-12 Dive reveals parents nationwide are doubling down on pandemic enrollment trends. Culling data from Moody’s Investor Services and federal sources, the brief shows that charter school market share is increasing nationwide as families continue to leave public district schools. Not surprisingly, growth is greatest in states with policies and a climate friendly to school choice. But interestingly, as the brief notes, even states that are not generally as receptive to school choice are seeing growth.

Highlights of the changing charter school market share

Here are some of top takeaways in enrollment between 2017 and 2022 for choice-friendly states, according to K-12 Dive:

  • Texas charter enrollment grew from 5.1% of total K-12 enrollment to 7.4%.
  • Florida charter enrollment increased from 10.4% of overall K-12 enrollment to 13.3%.

However, charter school market share is also growing in New York and California–states that have been less receptive to school choice policies. Read more from K-12 Dive.

North Carolina’s shifting K-12 landscape

Meanwhile in North Carolina, charter schools enroll about 9% of the state’s public K-12 students. New enrollment figures for 2023-24 are not yet out, but recent trends have reinforced growth in the charter sector.

Over the past decade, there has been a 172% increase in public charter school enrollment. During the pandemic, charter school enrollment grew by almost 19%.

Last year, roughly 1.4 million students attended district public schools while 140,000 students attended public charter schools. Charter schools also reported over 77,000 students on waitlists for 2022-23, according to the state’s annual charter report.
Seven new charter schools opened this year, bringing the state’s total number of charter schools for 2023-24 to 211 schools. Read more on the Coalition blog about K-12 enrollment trends here and here.