One in seven Atlanta public school students will be enrolled in a charter school next school year, as more charters open and expand.
More than 1,800 students have been accepted into the city’s charter schools, bringing the total number of charter school students up to about 7,000, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Meanwhile, about 43,000 students will attend traditional schools in Atlanta.
The spike in charter school enrollment comes as Atlanta Public Schools officials struggle with the fallout from a standardized test cheating scandal and a divided school board. Its budget reflects the shift toward charters: Of its $658 million budget for next year, about $71 million will go to charters. That’s an additional $29 million in funding for charters.
“Families are hungry for a different kind of school, and so we have an opportunity to provide that and perhaps demonstrate a different way of doing things,” Matt Kirby, chairman of the Atlanta Classical Academy’s board of directors, said to the AJC.
Atlanta Classical Academy in Buckhead, one of two new charters in Atlanta, will focus on a classical liberal arts education. Centennial Place Academy in Midtown is a traditional school that will become a charter school and add sixth grade.