A new report found that NYC charter schools are less likely to have special needs students because these students are less likely to apply.
The report, prepared by the Manhattan Institute and the Center on Reinventing Public Education, found that 13.1 percent of charter school students receive special education services, compared with 16.5 percent of NYC public school students. According to SchoolBook, critics claim that charter schools are actively discouraging special needs students from applying to charter schools. The study found these claims to be inaccurate.
Marcus Winter, the author of the report, wrote the following about charter schools and special needs students:
"It may be, for example, that the students were enrolled in specialized pre-school programs that feed into district elementary schools," he wrote. "It is also possible that the parents didn't see the charter schools as an appropriate fit for their child, either because of their own assumptions or because they were discouraged from applying by counselors or by charter school staff."