Since 1994, Arizona’s public charter schools have allowed educators to create their own vision of K-12 education and families all across the state — including in rural communities — the opportunity to choose the education that best meets their needs.

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, out of Arizona’s total population of more than 7 million people, approximately 340,000 Arizonans live in rural communities. Rural Arizonans have access to 64 public charter schools – more than the total number of charters statewide in 24 states. Of course, all of these states have substantially larger populations than that of rural Arizona.

Dr. Matthew Ladner is director of the Arizona Center for Student Opportunity.