Charter Schools: From B to A
Missouri has made significant gains in its use of charter schools as educational options. Recently, the state earned a B grade on a charter school report card, ranking 12th strongest out of 43 charter laws. By comparison, Missouri’s charter law is better overall than many other states, but the demand for charter schools still outweighs the supply.
According to the guide, most schools reported waiting lists of nearly 300 students each. The table below shows how many students transferred out of both charter schools and public schools during the 2013-14 school year. The low percentage of students transferring out of charters is an indication that waiting lists remain populated.
|Students Transferring Out of Public and Charter Schools|
|Total Enrollment||Transferred Out||Percentage|
|Kansas City Public Schools||15,627||2,441||16%|
|St. Louis Public Schools||25,200||8,070||32%|
|Kansas City Charter Schools||10,159||587||6%|
|St. Louis Charter Schools||9,219||444||5%|
The availability of seats is affected by the number of new charter schools that open. Currently, Missouri charter schools do not receive any money for school facilities. In order for Missouri to become a grade-A charter school state, shifting some public funds is just one helpful reform.
There are other areas where Missouri can show improvement. For example, the charter law could be expanded to allow charters to more easily open in accredited and provisionally accredited districts.
B’s may be “above average,” which is better than where Missouri usually finds itself, but the Show-Me State is capable of much more.