Enrollment Share In Jackson’s Charter Schools Quickly Growing


After just one full year, charter schools already make up nearly 10 percent of Jackson’s public school enrollment in the three grades that charter schools currently serve showing the high demand from parents in the city.

Today, Jackson has three charter schools in operation: Midtown Public Charter School, which serves grades five through seven; Reimagine Prep Charter School, which serves grades five and six; and Smilow Prep Charter School, which serves grade five. A fourth school, Smilow Collegiate, is set to open next year serving students in kindergarten and first grade.

But while there are just three schools serving (up to) three grades, charter schools have already drawn strong interest from families seeking a new option in the education of their child- when it is available.

Here is a look at the number of students in charter schools, by school and grade:

School 5th Grade 6th Grade 7th Grade 5-7 Total
MPCS 51 58 56 165
Reimagine 114 122 236
Smilow 127 127
Charter Total 292 180 56 528
JPS Total 1,719 1,835 1,953 5,507

What does this mean?

  • 15 percent of 5th graders in public school in Jackson attend a charter school;
  • Nine percent of 6th graders in public school in Jackson attend a charter school; and
  • Three percent of 7th graders in public school in Jackson attend a charter school

This data tells us two things: One, parents are looking for a new option and are pleased with that choice. No one is required to attend a charter school; everyone must enroll and must choose that school. To already be at 15 percent of the public school enrollment for the city (in the one grade level that has three available schools) after just one year is telling.

Second, these numbers will continue to grow as the supply increases. Charter schools are not, and have never been, an instant solution that opens overnight with the ability to serve every grade level. The infrastructure will take time to build. And as it does we have every reason to believe the demand, and enrollment, will continue to grow.

Districts With A Significant Charter School Presence

When charter school enrollment in Jackson hits 10 percent, they will join almost 200 districts in the country who meet that mark. There are 44 districts with at least 20 percent of enrollment share; 17 districts with at least 30 percent (shown below); six districts with at least 40 percent; and three districts with at least 50 percent.

New Orleans, well known for the charter school transformation that has reshaped public education in the city after Hurricane Katrina, tops all school districts with 92 percent of students enrolled in a charter school in the district.

School districts with a greater than 30 percent enrollment share:

School District State Enrollment Share
New Orleans LA 92%
Detroit MI 53%
Flint MI 53%
District of Columbia DC 45%
Gary IN 43%
Kansas City MO 40%
Camden NJ 34%
Philadelphia PA 32%
Indianapolis IN 31%
Dayton OH 31%
Cleveland OH 31%
Grand Rapids MI 31%
Victory Valley Union CA 31%
San Antonio TX 30%
Natomas Unified CA 30%
Newark NJ 30%
St. Louis MO 30%

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