Mapping Georgia’s Charter School Demographics

 Charter schools approved by the former state charter commission are marked in green; schools approved by their local school districts are marked in blue. Click on a marker to view information about the school, including its racial demographics; its percentage of students with disabilities, learning English or receiving free or reduced-price lunch; whether it made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2011; and comparisons to the district where the school is located. 

Source: Georgia Department of Education, “Chartering in Georgia, 2010-2011″

ATLANTA — An analysis of the demographics of Georgia charter schools during the 2010-2011 school year shows that the schools are more likely to enroll African-American students than the districts where they are located and less likely to enroll students with disabilities, those learning English, and those receiving free or reduced-price lunch.

Of the 100 schools for which data was available, 64 served a smaller percentage of students who receive free or reduced-price lunch than do their districts. For the majority of those cases — 44 schools — the surrounding school districts’ share of impoverished students is more than 10 percentage points higher than that served by the charter schools. On average, roughly 48 percent of the student bodies of the charter schools included in this analysis received free or reduced-price in lunch. In the school districts where these schools are located, about 62 percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunch.

A similar story can be told about the number of students with disabilities enrolled in Georgia charter schools. About 70 of the charter schools serve a smaller percentage of students with disabilities than their surrounding school districts. On average, about 8 percent of students enrolled in charter schools were classified as having disabilities; in the surrounding school districts, 12 percent were.

The state’s charter schools are more likely to enroll African-American students than their surrounding school districts, though the proportions of students of other races closely mirrors school district demographics. On average, just over 54 percent of students enrolled in charter schools were African-American, compared to nearly 47 percent in the school districts served by the schools.

Read our story about how expanding the state’s power to authorize charter schools in Georgia might affect the demographics of public education overall here.

Notice any other patterns? See any mistakes in the data? Comment below or email us.

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