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Memo - Charter School Recruitment/Retention Efforts

Jenny Chou and Kathy Boundy, CLE

Memo to Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner, DESE from the Center for Law and Education on charter school's unequal treatment of children with disabilities and limited English.  The memo focuses on three issues:

1) the selective and discriminatory enrollment of students with limited English proficiency and students with disabilities who have challenging learning needs; 2) failure to provide specialized instruction and related services necessary for students with disabilities having a range of educational needs to progress in the general education curriculum and misusing 603 C.M.R. §28.10(6) to change their educational placements; and 3) adoption and use of discipline policies and practices that violate due process and result in excessive rates of suspension and unlawful exclusion of students. As is evident from the data, these push-out policies and practices contribute to high attrition rates for the already limited enrollment of LEP students and those with disabilities with IEPs, and we suspect, target struggling learners.

The memo asks the Board of Education and DESE to hold charter schools accountable to teach all children.

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