Accomodating students with special needs
If they market and recruit broadly from their communities, their population of students with disabilities should be comparable to that of district schools. Research evidence to support this hypothesis is limited, but it deserves further investigation. charter schools that focus primarily or exclusively on children with disabilities and do actively recruit them are the exception.
State evaluation reports and other research have shown that most charter schools do not actively market to or recruit students with disabilities and their families. Some families might consciously choose against sending their children with disabilities to charter schools.
Second, repeated studies, including two national studies conducted in 2010 by the Civil Rights Project and the National Education Policy Center, have shown charter schools are accelerating the resegregation of public schools by race and ethnicity, social class, language of instruction, and special education status.
By serving more diverse populations, charter schools would enrich the experience of all their students, exposing them to the diverse range of people in our communities and thus better preparing them for both work and citizenship.
On average, however, the disabled students charter schools enroll tend to have disabilities that are less severe and less costly to remediate than those of students in district schools.
Charter schools might understandably find it challenging to accommodate students with disabilities.After all, nearly everyone at some time will require special attention or supports due to disabilities, illness, or emotional duress.