Charter Schools

Orange County Charter Schools Thrive, But Still Face Resistance

School districts still wary of competition

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The Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana is consistently ranked one of Orange County's top 10 public high schools and regularly garners state and national recognition.

Mission Viejo's Oxford Preparatory Academy, in its first year of operation, experienced such strong parent demand that an elementary school was permanently closed so the K-8 school would have space to grow.

A handful of Orange County's other public charter schools have waiting lists dozens or even hundreds of names long, having earned top-notch reputations within their neighborhoods and beyond.

Today, more than 10,000 students attend one of the county's 13 charter schools, accounting for nearly one of every 50 public school students countywide.

Enrollment has more than tripled over the past decade as parents have sought out these alternative public school options.