Charter schools use a range of practices to ensure only the “right” kind of students get in, Reuters reports.
Those practices can include mandatory family interviews, long application processes and demands for Social Security cards and birth certificates. And they sometimes put charter schools in violation of state and federal law, Reuters reports.
In Ohio, federal officials are looking at whether charter schools unlawfully turn away students with disabilities.
But it can be hard to quantify exactly how many students are turned away from charter schools, Reuters says:
Education lawyers in several cities said parents shut out of the process rarely go public with their complaints out of concern for their children’s privacy. Others see obstacles as deeply frustrating – but hardly a reason to file a lawsuit or lodge a formal protest with the state.
And, in the case of the Ohio charter-school inquiry, many parents are unaware that charter schools are not supposed to discriminate against students with disabilities.