More on the Growing Charter School Movement
Nationwide, there are 5,277 charter schools serving 1.6 million K-12 students.
But not all of them are urban minority, low-income students. Some serve suburban middle class families looking for an alternative to the curriculum on tap in a traditional public school.
For example, Hillsdale College is spearheading a national campaign to create at least one charter school in every state with a classical education curriculum. Readers of the school’s popular Imprimus publication won’t be surprised to learn that that “These schools will be based on a classical liberal arts model and have a strong civics component that will equip students to understand and defend the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,” according to the college’s website.
So far, three parent groups have partnered with Hillsdale to create this distinctive new brand of charter school in Georgia, New Mexico, and Texas. The Texas version, Founders Classical Academy in Lewisville, began construction in 2012, and expects to start classes this fall.
Hillsdale’s involvement shows that the real genius of the charter school option is that it allows any community of families, regardless of socio-economic status, to opt out of a public school system overburdened by bureaucracy, unions, and questionable curriculum standards. The charter school option gives local families the choice to spend their tax dollars to, in the words of Founders Classical Academy, “provide a well-rounded education that is distinctively classical, that pursues knowledge, promotes virtue, and prepares students for prosperous lives in a free society.”
What more could a conservative education reformer ask for?