MYTHS VS. FACTS: PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS
Charter schools are public schools and, just like traditional public schools, theyare:
Tuition-free and open to every student who wishes to enroll;
Non-sectarian, and legally prohibited from discriminating on any basis;
Publicly funded by local, state, and federal tax dollars based on studentenrollment; and
Held accountable to state and federal academic standards.
Despite these facts, charter schools are sometimes criticized for giving public
operated by private management organizations, this is only the case for a smallpercentage of charter schools – roughly 12 percent of public charters have for-
Charter schools are notpublic schools.Charter schools do not servestudents with learning disabilities.When charter schools performwell, it is because the more engagedparents are sending their kids tothese schools.
student learning while controlling for parental involvement. These studiesassumed that levels of parent engagement were roughly the same for all of thestudents whose parents entered them in the charter school lottery; the studiesfollowed students in both the charter and traditional schools for a number of yearsand found that for most charter schools, their students performed better, overtime, than their peers who applied to those schools through the same lottery but
PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOLS
“What Are Public Charter Schools?” National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, accessed February 4, 2013, http://www.publiccharters.org/About-Charter-Schools/What-are-Charter-Schools003F.aspx
“Schools by Management Organization,” National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, accessed February 4, 2013, http://dashboardpubliccharters.org/ dashboard/schools/page/mgmt/year/2011.
See 20 U.S.C. § 1432(1)
Charter Schools: Additional Federal Attention Needed to Help Protect Access for Students with Disabilities.
Dobbie, Will and Roland Fryer.
Are High Quality Schools Enough to Close the Achievement Gap? Evidence from a Social Experiment in Harlem
. NationalBureau of Economic Research, November 2009.
Center for Education Policy Research.
Student Achievement in Massachusetts Charter Schools.
Harvard University, January 2011.
Federal law requires that all public schools, including public charter schools,provide students with learning disabilities with a free and appropriate education.
So, when a student with learning disabilities is admitted to a charter school,that school must accommodate the learning needs of that student. Furthermore,charters schools serve only a slightly lower percentage of students with disabilitiesthan traditional public schools – approximately 11 percent of students enrolled
percent of students enrolled in charter schools.