Demand for public school alternatives to typical neighborhood campuses is so great, the state is years away from being able to meet it.
Consider the annual race to place children in the Clark County School District's magnet programs and career and technical academies. More than two dozen such schools have about 21,000 students enrolled, and the waiting lists are getting longer. For the coming academic year, the school district received 2,527 applicants for 719 openings at magnet elementary schools; 4,636 applicants for 1,319 openings at magnet middle schools; and 9,013 applicants for 4,982 openings at magnet and career high schools.
Many charter schools face a similar stampede.
The Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, the state's most famous charter school, has an enrollment of about 1,200 and a waiting list of 750 children.
Discovery Charter School has an enrollment of 374 and a waiting list of 84.