This paper summarizes the national charter school landscape by comprehensively reviewing national and regional enrollment statistics, discussing the contemporary social and political factors affecting sector growth, and reviewing the research literature on the short- and long-run effects of attending a charter school or having one open near your district school. Both national- and state-level perspectives are offered, including an analysis of state-by-state differences in charter school laws and regulations. A concluding section offers policymakers evidence-based recommendations.
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