Charter Schools Serve All Students

MYTH: Charter schools skim or cherry-pick the best students from traditional public schools.

FACT: Charter schools are generally required to take all students who want to attend.

If there are more interested students than available seats, the schools are generally required to hold lotteries, which randomly determine which students will be enrolled.

Unlike magnet schools overseen by school districts, charter schools cannot selectively admit students. According to federal law, they must accept all students, including students with disabilities and English Learners (ELs), regardless of previous academic performance.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education revised its long-standing policy requiring charter schools to use a “blind” lottery when they are oversubscribed. Where it is permitted by state law, charters can now use “weighted” lotteries to preference “educationally disadvantaged” students. This change will likely result in charter schools serving an even greater share of disadvantaged children than they already do.

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