Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Do you have a student enrolled in a California charter school? Has the student been told they were not meeting the charter attendance or demerit requirements and that they could be disenrolled soon? What is this all about? Do parents have any rights?
Charter Schools Are Schools of Choice
Families enrolling their kids in charter schools are putting the student there by CHOICE. Charter schools are public schools that students apply to enter. Students don’t get placed in charter schools by their school districts.**
**The only exception I have seen is in a district where there is one single school for a certain grade level (for example, seventh and eighth grades) and that school is a charter. This is an unusual situation, but it can exist.
Students Must Meet Charter Requirements to Stay Enrolled
If a charter student is enrolled and later cannot meet certain charter school standards, depending on the school’s rules, the student may be terminated.
For example, if a charter school mandates that students may be disenrolled if they get over 50 demerits, if a student gets 51 demerits, the student could be up for termination.
Minimum Due Process If Student Will Be Terminated for Not Meeting Requirements
If a student will be disenrolled due to not meeting minimum requirements, what can a student do? Luckily, these students should have at least some due process prior to being kicked out.
Per California Education Code 47605, any charter student who may be let go for any reason,(excluding suspension/expulsion students), has these protections:
(c)(5)(J)(iii) … no pupil shall be involuntarily removed by the charter school for any reason unless the parent or guardian of the pupil has been provided written notice of intent to remove the pupil no less than five schooldays before the effective date of the action.
The written notice shall …inform… of the right to [request a neutral hearing] before the effective date of the action. If the pupil’s parent, guardian, or educational rights holder initiates [a request for hearing], the pupil shall remain enrolled and shall not be removed until the charter school issues a final decision. For purposes of this clause, “involuntarily removed” includes disenrolled, dismissed, transferred, or terminated…
What this means is that if a charter student may be kicked out due to breaching attendance requirements, they must get 5 day notice and the opportunity to ask for a hearing on the matter prior to the student actually being disenrolled.
Charter Parents Should Request Hearing If Facing Disenrollment
When students are to be let go due to breaking charter school requirements, parents would be wise to take advantage of the available hearing to plead the student’s case. Otherwise, they will find themselves suddenly out and seeking a new placement.
Michelle Ball is a student lawyer assisting with charter exclusions, suspensions and expulsions. As an education attorney in Sacramento, she may become involved in matters from Palm Springs to Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Sausalito, Fair Oaks, Rancho Cordova and other California towns.