Eye on Education

Reuters: Charter Schools Screen Out the Students They Don’t Want

_Bunn_ / Flickr

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.


  • Roger

    Once again we lump all of our eggs in one basket.Like any other institutional enity there may be some that would do this but to use a blanket statement such as this about Charter schools is self serving and untrue. Not only is this an insult to those that work in Charter schools but it provides a great disservice to parents who are seeking the best availiable education resource possible for their child.

  • Free Choice is my name

    I run a charter school…try providing everything that is required for special education in a small school and you will close due to one student. It would bankrupt the school. We only receive 1/2 the funds but must provide everything required of fully funded public schools. If we don’t have the capacity..we don’t have the capacity. We aren’t against students with disabilities we just can’t afford to give them the services they deserve. I also work in a “regular” public school. They take all manor of students with disabilities and are going broke..and they are fully funded. The services suffer (as do the students) with the district trying to meet all requirements. Everyone and his mother has “special” needs or a 504 plan. Our ratio is about 20 to 1. I can’t believe that that many of our children have so many needs. These children deserve all the help a school can “afford”!! I can’t afford to hire a full time interventionist, physiologist, additional space (for pull out), additional books, testing, etc.,. Pay me what other “public” school get and I’ll be more than happy (given the facility) to have the “capacity” to provide the services. Even with the above mention issues, we turn no one away and do what we can to provide the best services for our children and their families. Believe it or not we actually care about our children and their education (as do our dedicated teachers and administrative staff). We don’t hand pick our students our students and families hand pick us. This entire controversy has to do with unions..we don’t have one and I’d close before ever letting one contaminate my school. Why? Not because I’m against unions but they again would bankrupt us. They would rather put a dozen or so people out of work than have them be what they would consider “underpaid.” We still pay STRS, provide benefits, and even bonuses. No I don’t belong to the union at the school I work (one of a few that don’t) however because this state is not yet a “right to work” state I pay 98.7% of regular dues (extortion) as my “fair share.” What nonsense. Forced to give up my money even though I don’t belong to the union…I repeat legal extortion. I will continue to run my school and give my kids the best education I would expect my own children to receive. Free choice for American tax payers. They are capable of determining if the school they select meets their families needs. If the school does not provide what it is expected to provide attrition through poor performance will close charter schools the same way it’s closing “regular” public schools.

    • jim

      that was a really good post. Its the parents and the bureaucracy of trying to make “everyone equal” or give the “entitlement” to those who deserve it. People have gone over-the-top to get things the easy way by crying, complaining, and suing. The work ethic is gone and it shows in the kids who have these terrible parents.

  • http://twitter.com/stevenn965 stevenn965

    Oh my!! It is the public schools that screen out and “interview” students, discarding those will will hurt the scores on grade cards!!! Why do you think scores have improved across the state.

    • crystal

      Wow, you are so wrong. They are PUBLIC schools and accept everyone.
      Keep drinking the FOX news kool-aid.

  • jim

    Who cares if charter schools turn kids away. I would. Look at Catholic Schools. They do it. Look at colleges. They do it. Look at employers. They do it. Time for people to stop crying about not getting a trophy.

    • crystal

      Who cares? Taxpayers should care as it is their money funding these schools…and what they are doing is illegal.,.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »