Marketing to Specialty Schools

Our country has nearly 50 million K-12 students enrolled in public schools. However, a lot has changed since the days of the traditional little red schoolhouse with desks all in a row, where kids studied reading, writing and arithmetic. Today a significant number of students are attending specialty K-12 schools, such as charters and magnets.

The public charter school movement began in the United States in 1991. MDR’s data shows charter schools serve more than 3.7 million students in 8,300 schools. And enrollment is growing. Since the 2005-06 school year, the number of charter schools and campuses has more than doubled, while enrollment has more than tripled.

Charter schools are tuition-free schools that are independently run, but publicly funded. Charter schools  create their own contracts, establish learning goals, their mission, financial guidelines and more — not  necessarily aligning with state education laws. provides an in-depth look at charter schools to help guide parents, teachers, and, yes, marketers like you. The opportunity to market to charter schools is unique from traditional public schools because although they are largely publicly funded, charter schools are exempt from state and local requirements regarding hiring and curriculum. So, for example, if you are a curriculum company, you may want to reach out with information about a program that was not necessarily adopted at the state level or doesn’t align to that state’s subject area standards. In addition, proponents of charter schools believe they are more innovative so they may present opportunities for you to market new or cutting-edge products and services.

Another specialty school type is magnet schools. Our data shows that there are 2,000 magnet schools across the country serving about 3.5 million children. Unlike charter schools, magnet schools are part of the public school system and must comply with local and state education policies and laws, but typically offer specialized courses or curricula. “Magnet” refers to how the schools draw students from across the defined school zones that feed into specific schools. As described on, magnet schools focus on specific learning tracks, such as STEM, fine and performing arts and world languages as well as specific programs, such as International Baccalaureate. This provides you with the opportunity to communicate with them about products and services specifically geared to those types of offerings.

Are you intrigued by the idea of marketing to educators at specialty schools? Our education market data includes detailed information for a wide variety of school types, including charter and magnet schools, as well as career and technical, adult education virtual, STEM, special education , alternative, Blue Ribbon and Green Ribbon schools. With these data and our ConnectED Cloud ListBuilder,  you can build campaigns to quickly and easily generate highly qualified leads and reach specialty-school decision makers with your offerings. Want to learn more? Reach out to us at