Here in Arizona, most of us are anxiously awaiting the start of fall. Not only will it bring cooler temperatures and pumpkin-flavored treats, but we also have some special occasions to celebrate. Just one of them is the 25th anniversary of Arizona public charter schools! Whether you’ve been personally affected by a charter school or just enjoy having options when it comes to education in this state, we invite you to join the celebration, beginning by learning a few facts about how charter schools got their start in Arizona.
History of Arizona Charter Schools
In 1994, Arizona was the second US state to initiate a charter school law, and the following year, a whopping 67 charter schools opened. At the time, those charter schools had under 8,000 students enrolled in total. By 2008, charter school enrollment had risen to just over 100,000 students. And about a decade later, interest has doubled, as Arizona has more than 550 charter schools with a combined enrollment of over 200,000 students!
Why Choose a Charter School?
Charter schools are technically public schools, and as such, they’re free to attend. So why choose a charter school over the typical school in your public school district? One reason is that charter schools have more freedom than district schools do, so they’re free to be unique enough to meet the specific needs of their students. In fact, each charter school draws up its own charter that outlines its mission, program, goals, and assessment methods—which can vary from one school to another. This allows parents to look at different charter schools in their area and decide which school’s values, teaching methods, and goals are right for their child.
At the same time, charter schools are still accountable for their performance. So they might have more flexibility in how they run the school, but they’re held to high standards just like district schools are. After all, if charter schools don’t meet the goals they agreed to meet in their charter, they won’t receive funding and can even be shut down—meaning they have an incentive to meet or even exceed the goals they set! For this reason, you can pick a charter school knowing that the teachers there will do everything they can to ensure their students are fully prepared for tests, college, and life in general.
Arizona Charter School Facts
If you’re still not sold on charter schools, these important points from the Arizona Charter Schools Association might change your mind. Consider the following facts about Arizona charter schools:
- For the fourth straight year, charter school students scored higher than the Arizona state average on the AzMERIT test—and that applies to every subject area and grade level.
- 68% of charter schools that got a letter grade in 2018 got an A or B rating.
- 56% of Arizona charter school students identify as non-white, meaning these schools have a majority-minority enrollment—which is important if you value diversity at school.
- Charter school enrollment has grown by about 16% every year since the first one in Arizona debuted.
As you can see, Arizona charter schools have a lot to celebrate this year! If you’re trying to choose the right high school for your child and are considering a Phoenix charter school, take a look at City View High School. Classes just started last week, but we’re still enrolling students, so please contact us for a tour today!