School & District Management

Teachers’ Children Can’t Get Leg Up

January 23, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To help attract top-notch teachers, some charter schools would like to offer guaranteed slots in those schools for employees’ children.

But Uncle Sam won’t allow it if the charters hope to get federal start-up grants.

Just this month, a batch of applicants for new Arkansas charters amended their proposals to remove such an enrollment preference after they learned that otherwise the schools wouldn’t be eligible for the federal aid.

In November, Texas officials asked the U.S. Department of Education for an exemption from the federal rule, and Colorado made a similar plea last summer. Neither state had received an answer as of last week.

“Charter schools are losing good staff members to other public and private schools due to their inability to give the children of staff members priority in admission,” wrote Shirley J. Neeley, the Texas education commissioner, and Geraldine Miller, the chairwoman of the Texas board of education, in a Nov. 17 letter to the federal agency.

Federal guidelines for the $215 million Charter School Program allow only a few enrollment preferences for schools that have more applicants than slots, such as for siblings of current students or children of a charter’s founders.

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools has urged the Education Department to amend the nonregulatory guidance for the federal Charter School Program so that a charter school may give preference to its teachers’ children, so long as they make up just a small slice of enrollment.

If too many exemptions are allowed, schools risk becoming too exclusive, said Todd M. Ziebarth, a senior analyst at the Washington-based advocacy group.

Eight states have language in their charter laws allowing preferences for teachers’ children, the alliance says.

Patsy O’Neill, who leads the San Antonio-based Resource Center for Charter Schools, which works with Texas charters, said nearly all regular districts in that state already allow the option.

“If 98 percent of traditional districts allow that enrollment preference,” she said, “then we think charters should have that same policy.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attend to the Whole Child: Non-Academic Factors within MTSS
Learn strategies for proactively identifying and addressing non-academic barriers to student success within an MTSS framework.
Content provided by Renaissance
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum How to Teach Digital & Media Literacy in the Age of AI
Join this free event to dig into crucial questions about how to help students build a foundation of digital literacy.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management How Principals Can Resolve Heated Conflicts With Parents and Teachers
Three tips for school leaders to manage complicated and emotional disagreements.
4 min read
Illustration of a large hand holding a puzzle piece that shows a handshake and that connects two other pieces -- one with a man and the other with a woman.
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Where Is K-12 Enrollment Headed? Population Trends, by the Numbers
America's public schools will have fewer students in the coming years, but population changes vary widely by state.
1 min read
Illustration of people icon.
E+
School & District Management How to Have a Hard Conversations With Your Teachers: 3 Tips for Principals
Here are three small steps that can ease the pain of a difficult conversation between a principal and teacher.
3 min read
Photo of two women having discussion.
E+
School & District Management How Have School Leaders Responded to the Trump Shooting?
When a tragic national incident happens in the middle of the summer, do school officials feel compelled to respond?
4 min read
A crowd waits for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump to speak at a campaign event in Butler, Pa., on Saturday, July 13, 2024.
A crowd waits for Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump to speak at the campaign event in Butler, Pa., on July 13, 2024, before a shooting took place.
Gene J. Puskar/AP