Working Together to Support Equitable Access to Charter Schools: Research and Recommendations

By Sara Allender, Angela Estacion, Amanda Nabors

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Description

How can states and school districts work together to ensure students have equitable access to available high-performing charter schools?

This brief, developed by the Mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center at WestEd, introduces the concept of equitable access, the idea that students and families have access to information about charter school options and the ability to enroll regardless of where they live, their socioeconomic status, or their education status. The authors then focus on three strategies intended to help ensure equitable access, including:

  • Unified Enrollment Systems — coordinating the information, application, and enrollment process across schools within a district
  • Weighted Lotteries — allowing schools to give additional weight to traditionally underserved students
  • Comprehensive Transportation Systems — providing charter school students with appropriate transportation to and from schools

Additionally, this brief offers a short overview of charter school research; a pragmatic discussion of the three strategies and the kind of district and charter school collaboration necessary to implement them successfully; and some suggestions for future research.

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