Q:

Who is eligible to submit an application for a public charter school?

A:

Quick Answer

Since charter schools receive government funding, they are required to accept applications from all students who are eligible under a particular school’s guidelines. For instance, a charter school can reject an application if a student does not meet age requirements for that school.

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Full Answer

As they are public schools and do not charge tuition or enrollment fees, in theory, charter schools must accept applications from all eligible applicants as long as they have spaces available. However, because each school and its board of directors defines what constitutes as a student body, learning the specific enrollment requirements for each school takes time. For instance, some charter schools are geared to special-needs students of all ages, while others choose to focus on only high school or at-risk students in kindergarten and elementary schools. Some charter schools aren’t equipped to deal with disabled students at all.

To find a good fit means learning what the differences between charter schools may mean for particular students, because curriculum and pedagogy can differ widely from school to school. Also, parents must double-check to make sure that charter schools meet state requirements on content, testing, graduation and more. Moreover, the school’s charter must conform to laws governing Title IX requirements, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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