MN Charter School Enrollment Continues to Grow

Minnesota’s Charter School Enrollment continues to grow according to the figures published by the MN Department of Education. According to the October 1, 2017 enrollment reports there were over 56,200 students enrolled in charter schools in grades K-12 – an increase of about 2,800 students over the previous year – despite the fact there is one less charter school in 2017-2018 . Charter schools now enroll 6.5% of K-12 students in Minnesota.

Demographically Minnesota’s charter schools continue to be more diverse than the overall public school population in the state.

  • 54% of charter school students qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch compared to 37% of all public school students.
  • 21% of charter school students are Limited English Proficient compared to 8% of all public school students.
  • 59% of charter school students are Minority Students compared to 33% of all public school students.

The one population in charter schools that is less than the state average is Special Education Students  – 13.5% in charter schools verses 14.1 % of all public school students.


The Cost of Authorizing Minnesota’s Charter Schools Report

In 2009, the Legislature enacted a number of amendments to Minnesota’s charter school law involving the authorizing of chartered public schools. Among the amendments was a new funding formula schools pay to authorizers to conduct their oversight responsibilities, and a requirement for authorizers to publicly account for the authorizing fees they collect from schools through an annual income and expenditure report submitted to the Commissioner of Education.

Annually, the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools compiles all of the authorizer income and expenditure reports submitted to the Commissioner to produce a comprehensive picture of the cost of authorizing chartered schools in our state.

The big picture shows that in FY17, authorizers as a group took in over $2.9 million in income, with expenditures of over $2.7 million, and that the average cost of authorizing was over $16,700  per school.


A Growing Movement – Charter Enrollment

A Growing Movement is the title of a recently published report on America’s Public Charter School Enrollment. In 2016-2017, over 3,011,000 students or 6% of the nation’s 49,974,000 students attended a chartered public school.

Minnesota charter schools had an enrollment in 2016-2017 of 53,930 or 6% of the 874,830 public school students in the state.

According to the report St.Paul had the 34th largest charter school population in the nation with 12, 910 students, while Minneapolis had the 38th largest charter school population in the nation with 10,840 students.

The full report published by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools can be found HERE

Minnesota’s ESSA Plan – Update

On Wednesday, of this week the MN Department of Education submitted revisions to Minnesota’s State ESSA Plan to address the areas that the federal government asked the state to provide clarifications based on a review of the proposed Plan. A final decision on the approval of the Plan is expected by the U.S. Department of Education by January 16th.

ESSA Minnesota State Plan

While the State Plan has been moving through the federal approval process, MDE has launched the process to look at three topics that were identified for further examination through the consultation process in developing the State Plan.

  1. Indicator(s) of School Quality or Student Success
  2. Data Dashboard (Public Data Reporting)
  3. School Recognition

The Department has established 3 Sub-committees to examine and make recommendations on these topics.

Yesterday, the School Quality or Student Success Sub-committee met for 4 hours to examine whether the MN Common Course Catalog (MCCC) system might be able to provide information that could be utilized as an indicator of a well-rounded education and career and college readiness. The Sub-committee will be meeting again on January 17th to make a recommendation.