This article examines charter schools applying a nonprofit conceptual frame of reference. The proliferation of charter schools is framed as a form of nonprofitization of public education. The implications of this trend are discussed. This discussion is contextualized through an examination of charter schools in New York. The case analysis is supported with data from the New York State Department of Education, the US Census Public Education Finance Report, and IRS Form 990 data. The findings suggest that there is mixed evidence for better school outcomes between charter schools and other public schools, while differences that do exist may be driven by socio-economic inequalities and other factors. This raises questions about the future of nonprofit schools and the degree to which they are accountable to traditional constituencies served by the public education system.
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