Caught Red Handed: A Charter School Cherry Picks Their Students
The percentage of students with special education needs at El Camino Real Charter is significantly lower than in surrounding high schools. This must be fixed before the LAUSD renews its charter.
“El Camino Real Charter High has an 8.9% Special Education enrollment, which is lower than the state’s percentage of 11.7%, and lower than the District’s percentage of 13.9%.”
- LAUSD Charter School Division
According to the State of Denial report presented to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board on September 3, 2019, charter schools saved $74.65 million by serving a lower percentage of students with special education needs. This affects every student enrolled in an LAUSD school as these costs must be borne by the District and results in cuts to other programs. As advocates for public school students, board members have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that every charter school is not excluding children with special education needs from their student body.
The LAUSD Charter School Division (CSD) reports that El Camino Real Charter High School serves 35.9% fewer students with special education needs than the district does. Despite the significant cost to the students of the LAUSD, the CSD states that there are “no concerns” about special education and that “there is no evidence…that [the] Charter School is not serving all pupils who wish to attend based on data on pupil enrollment patterns.” They have recommended that the LAUSD approve El Camino’s renewal at its meeting on Tuesday.
Under the CSD’s criteria, charter schools have no obligation to put programs in place that would attract students with special education needs. Instead, the requirement should be that these children “wish to attend” any…