What Rights Do Students Have in the Charter School Era?

By Jessica Schneider in the American Bar Association – March 30, 2017

“School choice.” It’s a phrase we hear often in today’s education discourse, and the discussion around the nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education has put the issue front and center nationally. As parents and students look for higher performing alternatives to neighborhood schools that often suffer from a lack of resources, charter schools have arisen as one of those alternatives. Charter schools are public schools but are designed to be more innovative and free from constraints. Charters are often referred to as being publicly funded but privately run. Though they do not charge tuition and are open to all students, they can also be thought of as “laboratories” where new and different education policies and practices are tried. This article covers the legal differences between charter schools and neighborhood public schools as well as the rights of students within charter schools.