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Press Release

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Charter Schools Continue to Flourish

~ National report shows tremendous increases in popular school choice option ~

Tallahassee - A recent report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools highlights the continuing growth of the charter school movement across the country, and the Sunshine State proudly boasts two of the top 10 and eight of the top 50 school districts in the country for the number of charter school students in 2010-11. The report, titled "A Growing Movement: America's Largest Charter School Communities," indicates that Orange County Public Schools leads the nation with a 42 percent increase in the number of charter school students in 2010-11 from the prior year.

"Every child learns differently, and charter schools provide options for parents seeking the best learning environment for their children," said Governor Rick Scott. "Charter schools play an important role in making sure Florida has the best educated workforce, ready to work in our 21st century economy."

Since 1996, charter schools in Florida have grown considerably, from just five to now more than 519 charter schools serving a projected 177,000 students. Florida ranks among the top three states in the nation for the number of charter schools, and their diverse learning approaches include themes such as the arts, science, and technology. Nearly 71 percent of the charter schools in Florida are high performing, receiving either an "A" or "B" grade in 2010.

"Florida's charter schools continue to deliver the tailored, quality learning environments that our students and families deserve," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. "The growth of charter schools in our state will continue to rise as we deliver viable options to families. I look forward to working alongside business and community leaders to accomplish our shared mission of providing a high-quality education model for the nation."

To highlight the Sunshine State's commitment to charter schools, the Department of Education will host the 15th Annual Florida Charter School Conference Nov. 14 - 16, 2011, in Orlando. The conference will provide more than 600 attendees the opportunity to learn about and share best practices, and network with charter school authorizers, operators, administrators, and teachers to enhance the charter school experience.

For more information about charter schools in Florida, visit http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/. To view the full report, visit http://www.publiccharters.org/data/files/Publication_docs/2011%20NAPCS%20Market%20Share%20Report_20111013T104601.pdf.