Despite educating more than 3.2 million students, the annual rate of charter school growth has reached an all-time low: a 1 percent increase in charter schools during the 2017-18 school year. This represents the fourth consecutive year that charter growth has slowed. In an article in our Summer 2018 issue of Education Next, Robin J. Lake, Trey Cobb, Roohi Sharma and Alice Opalka discuss barriers to charter-school growth in the San Francisco Bay Area and explore what charter leaders, policymakers, and communities can do to regain momentum and keep pace with demand. Derrell Bradford also addresses the slowing growth-rate of charter schools in our Summer 2018 issue, asking: what is the future role of single-site schools, given that charter management organizations (CMOs) and for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) are increasingly crowding the field? Finally, Adam Peshek proposes a way to tackle some of the obstacles to charter-school growth through the Opportunity Zone program (part of the 2017 tax reform package)—and hopefully create more high-quality public school options for children along the way.

—Education Next

Last updated May 14, 2018