Fraser Institute finds charter schools effective for ‘under-served’ students

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A new study finds, while the number of students attending charter schools in the United States has grown significantly over the past decade, Alberta remains the only province in Canada with legislation allowing them.

Entitled “A Primer on Charter Schools,” the Fraser Institute study spotlights the growth in, and the outcomes of, charter schools — which it found are particularly effective in improving performance of students who are ‘under-served’ by traditional schools.

Deani Van Pelt is the Institute’s Director of the Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education, and co-author of the study.

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A charter school receives public funding but operates independently of the established public school system in which it is located.

In Canada, policy makers in most provinces have largely ignored the potential benefits of these schools, and even in Alberta they’re tightly controlled, with a long-standing jurisdictional cap.

The study revealed that in the U.S. there has been a seven-fold enrollment increase since 1999 in charter schools, and in Alberta, over the same period, about a four-fold jump, to more 8,000.

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