Charter Schools: Facts & Issues
Published by the
LWVAL Education Fund
April 2011

III.   Charter school history

The first charter school legislation was enacted by Minnesota in 1991. Shortly afterward, President Bill Clinton set a goal for the year 2000 of increasing the number of states allowing charter schools to 40 and the number of charter schools to 3,000. President George W. Bush also supported charter schools as an element of his educational agenda. His 2006 budget allocated $219 million for charter schools, including $37 million to help charter schools acquire, lease and renovate their facilities. From 1999 to 2008, the number of students enrolled in charter schools in the United States more than tripled, from 340,000 to 1.3 million students.10 As of November 2009, more than 5,000 charter schools served over 1.5 million students approximately three percent of all public school students—in 40 states and the District of Columbia.11 [For online state by state information on the number of charter schools and students served, go to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools at: Or, see the attached chart from the Center for Education Reform. [Attachment A.]

© 2011 League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund. All rights reserved.