NC public charter schools saw enrollment increase last fall; vast majority have waitlists

78% of the state’s 200 charter schools have waitlists

Freshmen at Raleigh Charter School in Raleigh conduct science experiments in May of 2017. File photo

RALEIGH — A draft of the annual charter schools report showed increases in enrollment last fall with a high percentage of schools reporting waitlists.

At a meeting of the N.C. Charter School Advisory Board (CSAB), the draft report compiled for the General Assembly reported that 126,000 students were enrolled in North Carolina’s 200 charter schools as of Oct. 1, 2020 — an increase of almost 7.7% over the 117,000 students enrolled during the prior school year.

The draft report also revealed that 78% of the state’s charter schools had indicated they have a waitlist which represents around 76,000 students. Additionally, while district schools saw declines in Average Daily Membership (ADM) during the pandemic, charter schools reported ADM growth in every single grade level.

The presentation given to staff said that 42 charter schools have received subgrants through the NC ACCESS program, which will be used to better serve educationally disadvantaged students. The presentation also showed that enrollment for black students has increased in the last three years, and Hispanic student enrollment has steadily increased for the last 10 years.

In addition, 108 of the 200 charter schools offer transportation to students, while another 65 utilize coordinated carpooling.

According to the presentation, 98.9% of the state’s charter schools met or exceeded all financial and operational goals.

In 2020, seven new charter schools opened and 10 new charter schools have been approved to open in fall of 2021.

About A.P. Dillon 1313 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_