Before the advent of charter schools, parents had the choice between homeschooling their children, enrolling them in a private school or enrolling them in a public school. Charter schools have some characteristics similar to public schools, such as the fact that they are publicly funded. However, they also have characteristics in common with private schools, such as the fact that they are partially operated independently of the state even if they are required to meet state standards. If you would like to have your child enrolled in a charter school, you might worry that he or she might be discriminated against. But fortunately, there are restrictions in place that ensure that everyone has an opportunity to attend a charter school.
Charter Schools Are Not Legally Allowed To Discriminate
Charters schools are required by law to be fair in their admission policies. Since charter schools are considered to be public schools, they are not allowed to choose who is allowed to participate.
Charter Schools Aren't Sectarian
Charter schools must not be sectarian. Therefore, if you would like your child to attend a religious school, you would be better off sending him or her to a religious private school. The upside is that charter schools do not have the ability to forbid students from attending their schools on a basis of religion.
Charter Schools Serve On A First-Come, First-Serve Basis
Given that charter schools are limited in how many students they can accept, they often need to select students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Another way in which students are selected is through a lottery system.
Disadvantaged Students Are Welcome
Charter schools cannot discriminate against those who do not speak English. If your child speaks English as a second language, charter schools are required to provide programs that offer assistance in learning English.
Charter schools are not allowed to discriminate against students who have disabilities. However, there is some variation in the types of programs created for students who have disabilities. Therefore, you will want to interview a representative of the school over what programs are provided and when these programs are provided. The only charter schools that would be allowed to discriminate are any that do not receive federal funds. However, since all states receive federal funds, even charter schools that only receive funding from the state still cannot discriminate.
One possible barrier is that not all charter schools provide subsidized lunches. Therefore, you will need to inquire about whether a prospective school offers this service. Click here to read more.