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Advancing the Human & Civil Rights of People with Disabilities in Illinois


Charter School Enrollment Practices

Audit of charter school enrollment practices across Illinois.

August 18, 2015 — Equip for Equality released a white paper on charter school enrollment practices, based on an audit of the practices and forms of every charter school in Illinois. This review uncovered that some schools ask for inappropriate and sometimes illegal information, such as disability status, social security number, and criminal history. Most enrollment forms lack clear non-discrimination statements and a clear process that ensures charter schools welcome all students.

Based on this audit, EFE makes recommendations to ensure that each school’s process complies with the law and enacts enrollment best practices.

  • Enrollment materials must include a non-discrimination statement.
  • Schools should establish clear enrollment processes that distinguish the lottery from registration.
  • Charter schools need to remove inappropriate or illegal questions from application forms.
  • Enrollment procedures should maximize parent access and minimize paperwork burdens.
  • Transfer applications must follow the rules for initial applications.
  • Charter authorizers should review application procedures annually.
  • The Illinois State Board of Education should issue clear guidance about charter school enrollment rules.

EFE’s full analysis is available here:

EFE calls on charter schools to review their own practices with this one-page checklist.

Original Enrollment Forms and Equip for Equality Summaries

In each section, the Appendix is a table that summarizes key features of each application. Below each summary table, the link for each school will open the original application and instructions from the school’s website as a .pdf document.

Non-Chicago Charter Schools
Chicago Charter Schools
Options Schools

Equip for Equality Charter School Project

For more information about Equip for Equality’s Charter School work, click here.

For more information, contact:
Rachel Shapiro
(312) 895-7308

Last updated: August 03, 2018

This website is made possible by funding support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, both the Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of Equip for Equality and do not necessarily represent the official view of any of these agencies.

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