Charter school growth has exploded over the last two decades and so have the waiting lists to get in them. “Today there are charter school laws in 42 states and the District of Columbia,” Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools said Monday in a conference on Capitol Hill. “Close to 50 percent of D. C. public schools are charter schools.”
Rees spoke at a forum assembled by the American Federation of Children (AFC) and hosted by Senator Tim Scott, R-South Carolina.
“In Louisiana we’ve doubled the number of charter schools and 90 percent of New Orleans students are in charter schools,” Pelican State governor Bobby Jindal said at the same meeting. “We’ve also doubled the reading and math scores.”
Meanwhile, thousands wait to get in charter schools. “We are not the ones creating the waiting lists, though we get blamed for it,” Steve Perry, the founder and CEO of Capital Preparatory Schools said at the AFC forum. “Unions and weak public officials created it.”
“We have waiting lists because unions cap the number of students we can take.” Perry noted that many school districts are losing students, an indication of their unpopularity and an ominous harbinger of the effectiveness of unionized teachers.
“We had one union leader who said that parents don’t have a clue about making choices for their children,” Governor Jindal recalled in a separate panel at the AFC conference.