California continues to outpace the nation in the growth of charter schools and charter enrollment, with 104 new schools and 48,000 additional students, according to a report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

California now has 1,130 charter schools serving 519,000 students.

“The state figures represent a 6.1 percent increase in schools since 2012-13 and a 10.3 percent rise in charter student enrollment. Nationwide, the number of charters rose 7.3 percent. There were 436 new schools and 288,000 students added, for a total of 6,440 schools educating more than 2.5 million students.”

The president and CEO of the National Alliance, Nina Rees, pointed out that this was “the largest increase in the number of students attending charter schools we’ve seen since tracking enrollment growth.” Rees previously served as an education advisor to Vice-President Dick Cheney and to Michael Milken.

At the same time, a member of a charter school in Newport Beach, California, was accused of stealing $750,000 from the school by promising the other members of the board that he could invest it and parlay it into $3 million. He “didn’t return a dollar.” The alleged theft would be the largest from any California charter school. The organization runs five online charter schools.

Charter schools are virtually unregulated and unsupervised in California because the state education department lacks the staff to oversee them. Misdeeds are almost always dependent on whistle-blowers, not official investigations.