RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Traditional public schools in Wake County are seemingly losing students, according to data compiled by Education NC.

The group says some of those students are choosing other options, including charter schools.

“Charter schools all have their own unique programming, their own unique mission, that is supposed to be geared toward the needs of the community,” Rhonda Dillingham with the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools said.

Numbers out of Wake County show the school system’s average daily membership sitting at 158,412 this year.

Wake County Public School System officials were not available to speak to CBS 17 on camera on Thursday, but they say those numbers aren’t truly representative of what’s going on inside of schools and they’re still analyzing data and numbers to get a full picture. One spokesperson said the average daily membership numbers and enrollment numbers are two entirely different things. Charter school officials, though, say they are seeing an increase in students leaving traditional public schools and opting for their programs.

“What we saw during the pandemic was an incredible increase in enrollment in charter schools because many of our schools were able to stay open and continue on with their programming,” Dillingham said.

State School Superintendent Catherine Truitt says regardless of where parents send their students, choice is the most important thing.

“Sometimes a neighborhood public school is the best choice for a family, sometimes it’s not, and sometimes families use lots of different kinds of education options,” she said.

Wake County public school system officials say they’re presenting data on this at a board meeting on Feb. 17 until then they’ll continue to gather data.