Remember the stories about the long waiting lists to get into charters?


In Los Angeles, more than 80% of all charter schools have vacancies.

Yet the billionaires are still spending to try to open more charters, in the absence of need or demand.

Please read this article in California-based Capital & Main, which contains a fascinating statistical analysis of charter school saturation.

The evidence suggests, writes Larry Buhl, that charter schools are now stealing students not only from public schools but from other charter schools.

Total student enrollment across the Los Angeles Unified School District has been declining for years, due partly to the high cost of living, which is pushing out families from the city. The latest LAUSD Superintendent Budget showed an overall enrollment decline of approximately 100,000 K-12 students districtwide — at the same time enrollment in charter schools increased dramatically over the past 14 years.

According to the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), 118,820 students are being served at 249 charter schools throughout LAUSD. The CCSA also reports that there are more than 16,000 students on a wait list for charters authorized by LAUSD, and nearly 20,000 on wait lists for all charters in greater Los Angeles. The waitlist estimates are based on reported counts given by charter leaders; CCSA says that its estimates take into account duplicate students applying to multiple schools.

Unless there are a few standout charters that every student is applying to, those wait list figures are hard to square with district data that show widespread under-enrollment across LAUSD charters.

A November 2018 LAUSD interoffice memorandum on charter school enrollment showed that more than 80 percent of the 224 district-authorized independent charter schools were under-enrolled:

  • The aggregate enrollment projections from the schools anticipated that 128,374 total students would be enrolled. The official Norm Enrollment figures show that the actual number of students for 2017-2018 was 112,492 students (or 15,882 fewer students than the schools projected).
  • Approximately 34 of the 224 schools either met or exceeded their enrollment targets, while the remaining 190 did not. This trend appears consistent with both small and large charter operators.

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With more charters chasing fewer students, marketing and outreach have become increasingly crucial to enrollment.

More money for marketing means less money for instruction. This is insane. It is very expensive and wasteful to maintain a dual school system.

Want to know which charter schools failed to meet their enrollment target. Look here.