Saturday, October 25, 2008

Over a third of DC public school students are in charters

From the FOCUS newsletter:
D.C.’s 60 public charter schools reported 25,840 students on October 6, the official enrollment count date. This represents an increase of 3,893 students, or nearly 18%, over last year’s audited charter school enrollment. Audited figures for this year will not be available until early 2009. D.C.’s charter schools now enroll 35% of all District of Columbia public school students

In spite of repeated requests, FOCUS has not been able to get the DCPS October 6 enrollment figures from the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, which is responsible for auditing the enrollment numbers. A source inside DCPS, however, told FOCUS that total DCPS enrollment is 48,930, down more than 10% from last year’s audited figure of 54,648. Only 46,205 DCPS students attend school in the District; the remaining 2,725 are in private placements or attend public schools in surrounding counties.

Although overall charter school enrollment grew, eight of the 60 charter schools missed their enrollment projections by between 30 and 60 percent. Some of this deficiency may be the result of competition from Center City Public Charter School, a seven-campus Catholic school that converted to charter status this year. Center City reported 1,451 students, only about 600 of whom had been enrolled in the Catholic schools.

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