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An Overview of Charter School Alternative Education Campuses

An Overview of Charter School Alternative Education Campuses

June 9, 2023
Charter school Alternative Education Campuses (AECs) leverage the nimbleness of the charter school model to create unique learning opportunities nationwide for students who experience challenges that make it difficult to excel academically. Some of the challenges include homelessness, pregnancy, parenting while in school, or interaction with the juvenile justice system. These unique public schools serve more than 40% of the nation’s AEC students, even though charter schools only make up 7.5% of the nation’s public schools. Most AEC students (95%) are enrolled in grades 9-12, 74% are students of color and 47% are Hispanic or Latino. Sixty-eight percent of charter school AEC students are economically disadvantaged. Despite the odds being stacked against many students, the average proficiency rates among charter school AEC students are slightly higher than those of their district school counterparts in both English language arts and math. This report dives into what AECs are, who they serve, and the challenges and opportunities for supporting unique student populations across the country.
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