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Charters and Special Education

"Why the Gap? Special Education and New York City Charter Schools"

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While critics of charter schools have claimed such schools push out or discourage students with disabilities, that does not appear to be the case in a new study of New York City schools from the Center on Reinventing Public Education.

Author Marcus A. Winters studied enrollment data from the 2008-09 school year provided by the New York City Department of Education as well as 25 elementary charter schools in New York City.

The study argues that the enrollment gap is initially created by a smaller percentage of families with children of special needs applying to enroll their children in charter schools in kindergarten.

The gap grows throughout elementary school partly because charters are less likely to identify students as having special needs and more likely to declassify those students' individualized education plans.

Vol. 33, Issue 07, Page 5

Published in Print: October 9, 2013, as Charters and Special Education
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