The Washington Department of Education is grappling with how to rein in the number of students who attend for-profit schools, where students are often not academically prepared.
A recent report from the nonprofit research organization Common Sense Schools said that more than 1 million students nationwide attended for-profits from 2008 to 2014.
The numbers include students who attended a charter school, private school, and community college, the report found.
Schools that are considered to be low performing and underperforming have higher percentages of students at or below proficient, according to the report.
For-profit school enrollments have surged in the past two decades.
But the number is still far lower than in other states, the nonprofit said.
In 2013, more than a third of students in the nation’s public schools were enrolled in for-sale schools, according the study.
That number dropped to less than 30 percent by the early 2020s.
In the past decade, enrollment in for-, nonprofit-, and charter-schools has grown at a rate of nearly 4 percent per year, according data from the Education Department.
The number of for-rented students has also grown, with nearly 1.3 million students in 2012 and 1.2 million in 2014, according an analysis by the Education Policy Center.
While for-market charters have become a hotbed of criticism, charter schools have also been the focus of criticism.
For-profit charters, which are often located in affluent neighborhoods, often charge more than their public school counterparts.
Some charter schools also have high turnover, leaving them with limited resources to manage, according a report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
According to the study, charter school enrollment dropped by 2.2 percent between 2007 and 2014, but for-sell schools saw a decline of 4.7 percent.