Tracking Growth in Unionized Charter Schools

Tracking Growth in Unionized Charter Schools

For a long time, the extent to which charter schools participate in collective bargaining with teachers’ unions was widely unknown.  In 2010, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) collected and reported on the first nationwide data to determine the number of unionized charter schools in the United States. Basis joined with NAPCS to collect, code, and analyze union data for all charter schools open in the 2016-17 school year.  Key findings from the updated report comparing teachers’ union status in charter schools in 2009-10 and 2016-17 are summarized below:

  • While there were more unionized charter schools in 2016-17 than in 2009-10 (781 versus 604), the percent of unionized charter schools was lower in 2016-17 than in 2009-10 (11.3 percent versus 12.3 percent).
  • Only two percent of new charter schools that opened in 2016-17 were affiliated with a teachers’ union.
  • More than half (53.1 percent) of unionized charter schools in 2016-17 were bound by state law or district policy to existing collective bargaining agreements with the local traditional public school district.
  • The majority of unionized charter schools are affiliated with the largest teachers’ union in the country, the National Education Association (NEA), though there was an increase in the number and percent of unionized charter schools affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in 2016-17.

The report also compares trends in unionized charter schools across states and select cities. Basis is working with NAPCS to update with 2018-19 data and a new report that will be released in 2020.

 

 

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