A growing number of Colorado students are enrolling in schools outside their home districts, a trend fueled by the rise of statewide online and charter enrollment.
Nearly one in ten students this fall are attending a school either not located in, or not run by, the district in which they live, according to state figures released last week.
That includes thousands of students flocking to online schools based out of faraway districts and to nearby schools operated by the state Charter School Institute.
This fall, 66,296 students are “choicing out” of their home district. That’s 8 percent of the state’s 843,316 pupils; in 2001, the comparable figure was 3 percent.
Colorado law allows parents to enroll their children in any public school with available seats so long as they can get them there. That’s led some to call the law unfair to poor families unable to provide transportation.
But increasingly, distance doesn’t matter as national online programs set up shop in rural communities such as Julesburg, at Colorado’s northeastern tip, and draw students from as far as Alamosa in the state’s southwest corner.
- Julesburg, 45 percent
- Mapleton, 32 percent
- Charter School Institute, 21 percent
- Statewide enrollment growth, 1.3 percent
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