House Dems question if charter schools are helping English language learners

The lawmakers said a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that some charter schools are not reporting student performance data, including reading and math proficiency rates and graduation rates for all students. They said this calls into question whether charter schools meet current standards of educational quality and accessibility for ELL students.

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“It is imperative that the Department have reliable and accurate data for all public schools, local education agencies, and states in fulfilling our mission to equitably serve all children and families,” the letter stated. “All public schools must be treated equally, with respect to federal funding received and student populations served, not based on school type or reform priority.”

Public charter schools are required to report how many ELL students and students with disabilities attend their school to ensure that they aren’t turning children away or denying them services. Some Democrats have complained that some charter schools aren’t providing adequate educational services to students with special needs.

Miller, the ranking member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, and Grijalva said having accurate ELL data on students in charter schools is even more important as the popularity of charter schools increases.

“The prevalence of charter schools is increasing,” the lawmakers wrote. “Similarly, the population of ELL students is rapidly increasing, and we believe it imperative that public charter schools provide these students and their families with equitable access to quality education options.”

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