Legal Status and Oversight Issues Surrounding Charter Schools


Legal Status and Oversight Issues Surrounding Charter Schools



charter schools, legal status, oversight


Since 1991, forty-five states and the District of Columbia have enacted charter school laws. According to the National Center for Public School Statistics, there are more than 7,200 charter schools serving 3.1 million students. Although charter schools are commonly defined as "public," they are exempt from many laws that apply to traditional public schools.

This presentation will focus on two legal issues that have arisen due to this latitude and provide suggestions for attorneys, policymakers, and educators to deal with these problems. First, it will explain how the hybrid nature of charter schools has made it difficult for courts to determine whether to apply "public" or "private" legal concepts to them. Second, this presentation will discuss how unscrupulous charter-school operators have taken advantage of insufficient oversight to engage in large-scale fraud and mismanagement.


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Preston Green is the John and Maria Neag Professor of Urban Education at the University of Connecticut, where he is also a professor of educational leadership and law. Dr. Green is an educational law scholar who has written extensively on the topics of educational access and school choice. He also sought to promote the achievement of equal educational opportunity through collaborations with the Southern Poverty Law Center, UCLA Civil Rights Project, the Century Foundation, and the National Education Policy Center. Moreover, he has created joint programs of study in law and education at two universities.

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Legal Status and Oversight Issues Surrounding Charter Schools