Washington, D.C. – Today, Business Forward Foundation issued its latest report on public charter schools. By beginning with the shortfalls of our current education system, the report argues that public charter schools can significantly close the racial achievement gap while improving both student outcomes and experiences in K-12 education.

“With public charter schools, families decide what’s best for their kids. Teachers have more control over their lessons and principals over their budgets,” said Jim Doyle, president of Business Forward Foundation. “Because charters are held accountable for educational outcomes, high-performing schools can grow while underperformers get replaced.”

Doyle added, “Despite receiving less funding than traditional public schools, charters deliver better results, on average. We should be identifying best practices and sharing them across the K-12 system.”

The report’s key points include:

  • Only one in four high school seniors is “college ready” in math, science, English, and reading.
  • Despite ranking 2nd in per pupil spending for K-12 among OECD countries, the United States ranks 13th in reading, 37th in math, and 18th in science.
  • Public charter schools receive 73 cents on the dollar compared with traditional public schools, but they are 40% more cost-effective and produce a 53% larger return on investment.
  • In the last 15 years, charter enrollment has more than tripled to 3.2 million students.
  • If capacity existed, demand indicates that 5 million more students would attend a charter school.



The Business Forward Foundation is an independent research and education organization that takes a business-minded look at policy issues affecting America’s economic competitiveness. Our work combines insights and advice from business leaders across the country with rigorous policy analysis. Through white papers, issue briefs, conference calls, and other events, we educate policy makers and the public about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work, and other critical issues.