Education Week Talks Charter Schools

According to a recent article on Education Week, agency charter schools in the United States are admitting a smaller percentage of students with disabilities than traditional public schools, 8.2 percent vs. 11.2 percent in public schools in the 2009/2010 school year. The article stated that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that some charter schools are possibly discouraging students with disabilities from enrolling or denying them admission, while the article states the study mostly found anecdotal information and no hard data.

Critics of charter schools say that the publicly-funded charter schools are not always held to the same standards as regular public schools.

According to the article, in a letter released with the report, the U.S. Department of Education said they plan to provide more guidance to schools about charter schools’ responsibilities to students with disabilities under federal laws that ban discrimination on the basis of a disability. According to the Education Week article, the GAO pointed out in its report that the last such guidance was offered 12 years ago.

In addition, the article stated that the U.S. Department of Education has launched investigations into four states to determine whether charters are adequately serving students with disabilities. These investigations are being conducted in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

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