Charter school enrollment up in Arizona - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Charter school enrollment up in Arizona

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Arizona kids and their parents have a lot of choices. They can go to the public school closest to their house or, with open enrollment, any public school. But they can go to a private school or a charter school too. That's a lot of different education options, which means schools have to compete for your kids.

"It does keep school districts on their toes and it keeps everybody kind of on their game," said Roosevelt School District spokesman Joseph Ortiz.

A new report by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools shows the number of kids in Arizona's charter schools keeps going up. Statewide, 14 percent of kids chose charter this year and 25 percent of the kids in the Roosevelt School District are going to charter school.

"The way that Arizona funds education, the money follows the student," Ortiz said.

"So if a student decides to go to a public school they get the dollars, if a student decides to go to the charter school, they get the dollars," said Phoenix Collegiate Academy founder Rachel Yanof.

And at nearly $8,000 a student, that funding really matters, especially in a state with some of the lowest spending per kid in the country.

"Funding is everything, right? The more money we have the more teachers we can attract, the better teachers we can attract," Yanof said.

As charter schools like Phoenix Collegiate Academy keep growing, districts like Roosevelt know they need to step up their game to keep kids in their classrooms. Districts CBS 5 News talked to said their enrollment is actually up, even with more kids choosing charter.

To read the full report click here.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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