As public schools of choice, charter schools are expected to open their doors to all students who wish to attend. When they receive more applications than they have slots, they commit to a fair and transparent admissions process – typically a lottery – to fill their seats. Yet for all of the state and local rules dictating fair lottery practices, who is there to ensure that schools actually follow suit?
CT Post’s review of charter schools in Connecticut suggests that lottery compliance remains largely a matter of “scout’s honor.” On one side, students in some charter organizations have been admitted outside of the formal lottery system. On the other, conscientious charter schools and networks are taking proactive steps to self-regulate and ensure transparency and equity. For example, some have invited external auditors from the League of Women Voters to observe their processes. Others are using SchoolMint’s online lottery management software to manage every step of their admissions process and demonstrate transparency with a clear audit trail.