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Beyond the Books: Why are charter schools so popular?

Beyond the Books

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IDAHO FALLS — and Idaho Education News are partnering for a regular segment featuring local and statewide education issues.

“Beyond the Books” will provide commentary and analysis on education news in both east Idaho and from across the state. news director Nate Eaton will host the segment and Devin Bodkin, Idaho Education News’ east Idaho reporter, will appear to discuss topics from policy creation and implementation to best practices in teaching and learning.

In this edition of “Beyond the Books,” we focus on charter schools. There are 57 charter schools in Idaho serving around 22,000 students. They’ve been in the Gem State for 20 years and are immensely popular – in fact, there are over 11,000 kids on charter school waiting lists.

So what’s the draw? Why are so many students (and their parents) wanting to attend these schools? Are they better than public schools? What do test scores show?

Watch the video above to see what we found out.

If you have an idea for future “Beyond the Books” segments or want to appear on the show to express your opinions, email Devin at or Nate at