It is estimated that more than 1 ;300 charter schools now allow students in the 29 states with charter schools to select a public school of their choice. As of July 1999, 36 states and the District of Columbia had charter school enabling legislation. Charter schools continue to grow rapidly. For example, the first eight charter schools in New York state were recently approved/ in Arkansas; new legislation was recently passed to allow charter school development,2 and most recently several states have made the chartering process even easier. For example, New Mexico raised its cap on charter schools from 5 to 100 over the next 5 years; and Minnesota made it easier for existing schools to convert to charter status.3