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Report: Charter schools enroll fewer special-ed, limited-English students

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A Rutgers University report found New Jersey charter schools have grown significantly but continue to enroll proportionally fewer special-education students and those with limited-English proficiency than their sending district public schools.

The report was written by Julia Sass Rubin, a Rutgers Bloustein School associate professor of public policy, and Mark Weber, doctoral candidate at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education.

Charter schools are publically funded but privately operated. Rubin and Weber charter schools will receive an anticipated $750 million in funding from New Jersey’s school districts this year, more than four and a half times the $164 million transferred to charter schools a decade ago.

The report also found that special-ed students enrolled in charter schools tend to have less costly disabilities compared to those in public schools.

It recommends “the New Jersey Department of Education re-examine the state’s charter school law to align the power to authorize new and expand existing charter schools with the financial impact of those decisions.”

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David Hutter

David Hutter grew up in Darien, Connecticut, and covers higher education, transportation, and economic development for NJBIZ. He can be reached at dhutter@njbiz.com

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