With most local public schools back in session, I asked my staff to see where City parents were enrolling their children this year. Here’s what they sent back.
The top provider of public education in the City itself is the St. Louis Public School District. But, charter schools are a rapidly growing alternative.
(Charter schools are public schools governed by not-for-profit boards of trustees. In exchange for greater autonomy, charter schools can be closed if educational and operational goals are not met.)
In 2001, St. Louis had 5 charter schools serving about 1372 students, about 3 percent of the public school enrollment in St. Louis. Over the next seven years, that number has grown to more than 17 schools, serving over 7700 students, about 24 percent of the public school enrollment within the City.
In 2001, charters accounted for about 1 in 24 St. Louis public schools. In the 2008-2009 school year, one in every 5 St. Louis public schools is a public charter school.
Five new charter school proposals are currently under review. One new charter school has announced plans to open in September 2009.
These ratios and percentages do not take into account the number of St. Louis students currently attending public schools outside the City. And, of course, many City parents have enrolled their children in private and parochial schools.