Free from a number of burdensome government regulations, public charter schools are a big hit among parents. And now, according to a new study, students in charter schools in Florida and Chicago are out-performing their public school counterparts—especially when comparing graduation rates and earnings in early adulthood.
The latter is particularly important, as many Americans are questioning whether the current education system is equipping students with the skills necessary to find meaningful employment in an increasingly competitive workforce.
Among the study’s findings, according to Forbes:
- “Students enrolled in a charter public high school are 7 to 11 percentage points more likely to graduate compared to their peers in district-run schools.”
- “Charter school attendance was associated with an increase in maximum annual earnings between ages 23 and 25 of $2,347—about 12.7 percent higher than for comparable students who attended a traditional high school.”
These figures are particularly significant given the large number of students dropping out of high school—“5,500 students for every day on the academic calendar,” according to a recent story in The Atlantic.
Given these statistics, it’s surprising that public charter schools are facing such considerable opposition from powerful political players like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who recently made headlines when he closed down three charter schools serving mostly African-American and Hispanic students. As a result, the educational future of about 700 students is now in limbo.
Why the opposition? Heritage expert Lindsey Burke notes that it may have to do with the fact that charter schools are mostly non-union, including the ones being closed by de Blasio.
At a time when our country’s educational system is screaming for meaningful reforms, it’s clear that charter schools are succeeding where others are failing. Policymakers should reward and duplicate this success, not suppress it.