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Charter schools aggressively screen applicants, sometimes in violation of state and federal law

Charter schools are public schools, funded by taxpayers and widely promoted as open to all. But Reuters has found that across the United States, charters aggressively screen student applicants, assessing their academic records, parental support, disciplinary history, motivation, special needs and even their citizenship, sometimes in violation of state and federal law. Reuters found that thousands of charter schools don’t provide subsidized lunches, putting them out of reach for families in poverty. Hundreds mandate that parents spend hours doing “volunteer” work for the school or risk losing their child’s seat. In one extreme example, an Illinois school mandates that each student’s family invest in the company that built the school – a practice the state said it would investigate after inquiries from Reuters.

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