If I'm understanding this correctly, it's huge...
Reading Randy's thread entitled "Charter retaliation" prompted me to dig into a question I'd had for months now.
Earlier in the summer, I had spotted a mention at the Tennessee Charter Schools site--and printed it out to research later--concerning who may enroll in a charter school.
The site advised that charter shools may enroll "free or reduced price lunch students in grades K-3, though a charter school cannot enroll more than 25% of their total enrollment from this category."
Now, this mention at the Tennessee Charter Schools site appears to be gone since last May, which is why I don't link it.
However, I did find the exact same mention this afternoon at the Lead Academy site, here (see in their FAQS "Who can attend a charter school?").
In reviewing the Tennessee Charter School Act, the charters and their trade association appear to be relying on instruction at TCA 49-13-106, guiding enrollment of students at newly created charters, which says in part:
(C) In reviewing applications for newly created charter schools, the chartering authority, if an LEA, shall give preference to, and, if the achievement school district, shall exclusively accept, applications that demonstrate the capability to meet the needs of the following groups of students:
(i) Students who are assigned to, or were previously enrolled in, a school identified as a priority school, as defined by the state's accountability system;
(ii) Students who, in the previous school year, failed to test proficient in the subjects of reading/language arts or mathematics in grades three through eight (3-8) on the Tennessee comprehensive assessment program examinations;
(iii) Students who, in the previous school year, failed to test proficient in the subjects of reading/language arts or mathematics on the end of course assessments in grades nine through twelve (9-12); or
(iv) Students who are eligible for free or reduced price lunch;
(D) If an application with the focus of serving students from a group or groups set forth in subdivision (b)(1)(C) is approved, then the school shall give preference in enrollment to students from such group or groups. Such school shall include in the annual report under § 49-13-120 the number of students from such group or groups who are attending the school; and
(E) Preference for applications with the focus of serving students from a group or groups set forth in subdivision (b)(1)(C) shall not reduce the score of applications that demonstrate other strengths or focuses.
So...as nearly as I can discern, these charters and their trade association are inferring that because the statute references four groups of students on which they may focus (detailed in items i through iv, above), and because they "shall not reduce the score of applications that demonstrate other strengths or focuses," they are therefore bound NOT to enroll more than 1 in 4 or 25% of students from among those eligible for free or reduced lunch???
Is this also your interpretation of the charters' inferences???
If so, I'm sure you see why it's "huge?!"
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