“Charter schools reported significant growth during the early years of the pandemic. Enrollment rose 7 percent, or more than 240,000 students, in the 2020-21 school year from the previous school year, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Enrollment has since waned slightly, though the number of facilities continues to increase. Since 2000, public schools have lost about 1.2 million students.
“There’s still a need for schools, and the market has picked up again after stalling out a bit,” said Amanda Whitaker of ANF Architects, which focuses on education projects, including a charter high school in Crosstown Concourse, a former Sears warehouse in Memphis that was converted into a vertical village. “In the charter school realm, and lower-income, inner-city area, the ability to find a vacant lot to build a school just isn’t there,” she said.”