Working Together to Support Equitable Access to Charter Schools: Research and Recommendations
What are some ways to better ensure that all students and families know what charter school options exist and have the ability to enroll and attend if they want to — regardless of where a student lives, the student’s socioeconomic status, or the student’s education status (e.g., a student needing special education services, a student designated as an English language learner)?
This policy brief focuses on three emerging strategies for helping to ensure charter school access, based on a review of charter school literature and on the experience of WestEd staff working on charter school issues: unified enrollment systems, weighted lotteries, and comprehensive transportation access.
The brief highlights the role that state- and district-level policymakers can play in supporting charter school access for all students and consists of the following:
- Short summary of charter school research
- Explanation of the three strategies and the degree to which state law in each MACC@WestEd state allows their use
- Discussion of the district and charter school collaboration needed for successful adoption of the strategies
- Brief consideration of re-segregation as an unintended consequence of equitable charter school access
- Suggestions for future research foci related to equitable access