Charter Schools - Does the state specify the charter schools or the students that may be given preference?

Charter Schools - Does the state specify the charter schools or the students that may be given preference?

January 2016


At the present time, 43 states and the District of Columbia have enacted charter school laws, so this database contains information only for them. It does not contain any information for the 7 states that have not enacted charter school laws.

Please contact Jennifer Thomsen, 303.299.3633 or jthomsen@ecs.org with questions or comments about the database.
 

Does the state specify the charter schools or the students that may be given preference?
Alabama Yes.  Enrollment preference must be given to those living in geographic proximity to start-up charter schools as well as those residing within the former attendance area for conversion charter schools.  Preference is also given to those already enrolled in charter school the previous year, those with siblings already in enrolled, and students whose parents founded and/or sit on the governing board of the charter school so long as enrollment does not exceed 10 percent of the total student population.  If applications exceed the school's capacity, the school must use a random selection process after giving preference to students living in the school system in which the charter school is located.
Alaska No
Arizona Yes. A charter school must give enrollment preference to pupils returning to the charter school in the second or any subsequent year of its operation and to siblings of pupils already enrolled in the charter school. A charter school sponsored by a local school board must give enrollment preference to eligible pupils who reside within the boundaries of the school district where the charter school is physically located.
Arkansas Yes. The authorizer must give preference to applications for charter schools:
  • Located in school districts where the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches is above the average for the state
  • Where the district has been classified by the state as in academic distress
  • Where the district has been classified by the state department of education as in some phase of school improvement status or some phase of fiscal distress, provided the fiscal distress status is a result of administrative fiscal mismanagement as determined by the state board of education.
An individual school's charter may allow a weighted lottery to be used in the student selection process when necessary to comply with Title VI of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Federal Education Amendments of 1972, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a court order, or a federal or state law requiring desegregation.

An open enrollment charter school may give preference to children of the founding members of the eligible entity (although the number of enrollment preferences granted to children of founding members must not exceed 10% of the total number of students enrolled in the open enrollment charter school) and siblings of students currently enrolled in the school.
California Yes. Priority in the approval process must be given to schools designed to serve low-achieving students.

Conversions must give preference to pupils who reside within the former attendance area of that charter school. In cases of over-enrollment, conversions and start-ups must give preference to pupils currently attending the charter school and pupils who reside in the school district. A charter school located in the attendance area of a public elementary school in which 50% or more of the enrollment is eligible for free or reduced price meals may give a preference in admission to pupils who are currently enrolled in that public elementary school and to pupils who reside in the elementary school attendance area where the charter school site is located.
Colorado Yes. Greater consideration must be given to charter school applications designed to increase the educational opportunities of at-risk pupils. A majority of a charter school's students, other than on-line students, must reside in the chartering school district or in contiguous school districts.
Connecticut Yes. The state board of education must give preference to charter school applicants:
  • Whose primary purpose is the establishment of education programs designed to serve one or more of the following student populations:
    • Students with a history of low academic performance
    • Students who receive free or reduced priced lunches
    • Students with a history of behavioral and social difficulties
    • Students identified as requiring special education
    • Students who are English language learners
    • Students of a single gender
  • Whose primary purpose is to improve the academic performance of an existing school that has consistently demonstrated substandard academic performance
  • That will serve students who reside in a priority school district
  • That will serve students who reside in a district in which 75% or more of the enrolled students are members of racial or ethnic minorities
  • That demonstrate highly credible and specific strategies to attract, enroll and retain students from among those populations
  • That, in the case of an applicant for a state charter school, will be located at a work-site or that the applicant is an institution of higher education
A charter school may give enrollment preference to siblings.
Delaware Yes. Preferences in student admissions may be given to siblings of students enrolled at the school, students attending an existing public school converted to charter status and children of a school's founders, so long as they constitute no more than 5% of the school's total student population. Students enrolling in a start-up charter school may be given preference under the following circumstances as long as the school has described its preferences in the charter:
  • Students residing within a five-mile radius of the school
  • Students residing within the regular school district in which the school is located
  • Students who have a specific interest in the school's teaching methods, philosophy or educational focus
  • Students who are at risk of academic failure
  • Children of persons employed on a permanent basis for at least 30 hours per week during the school year by the charter school
District of Columbia Yes. For conversion schools, priority in enrollment must be given to students who were enrolled in the school at the time the petition was granted.  Additional enrollment preferences are extended to siblings of pupils already attending a school, and students who reside within the attendance boundaries, if any, in which the school is located.

A charter school may give preference to:
  • A sibling of a student already attending or selected for admission to the school
  • The child of a member of the school's founding board, so long as the enrollment of founders' children is limited to no more than 10% of the school's total enrollment or to 20 students, whichever is less
  • The child of a full-time employee of the school who is a D.C. resident, so long as the enrollment of children of employees is limited to no more than 10% of the school's total enrollment.
Florida Yes. A charter school may give enrollment preference to the following student populations:
  • Students who are siblings of a student enrolled in the charter school
  • Students who are the children of a member of the governing board of the charter school
  • Students who are the children of an employee of the charter school
  • Students who are the children of an employee of the business partner of a charter school-in-the-workplace or a resident of the municipality in which the charter school is located or a resident of a municipality that operates a charter school-in-a-municipality 
  • Students who have successfully completed a voluntary prekindergarten education program provided by the charter school or the charter school's governing board during the previous year
  • Students who are the children of an active duty member of any branch of the United States Armed Forces
A charter school may limit the enrollment process only to target the following student populations:
  • Students within specific age groups or grade levels
  • Students considered at risk of dropping out of school or academic failure, including exceptional education students
  • Students enrolling in a charter school-in-the-workplace or charter school-in-a-municipality
  • Students residing within a reasonable distance of the charter school. Such students are subject to a random lottery and to the racial/ethnic balance provisions or any federal provisions that require a school to achieve a racial/ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves or within the racial/ethnic range of other public schools in the same school district.
  • Students who meet reasonable academic, artistic or other eligibility standards established by the charter school and included in the charter school application and charter or, in the case of existing charter schools, standards that are consistent with the school's mission and purpose
  • Students articulating from one charter school to another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter schools that has been approved by the sponsor
  • Students living in a development in which a business entity provides the school facility and related property having an appraised value of at least $10 million to be used as a charter school for the development. Students living in the development are entitled to 50% of the student stations in the charter school.
Georgia Yes. A start-up charter school must enroll any student who resides in the attendance zone specified in the charter and who submits a timely application unless the number of applications exceeds the school's capacity. A start-up charter school may give enrollment preference to:
  • A sibling of a student enrolled in the school
  • A sibling of a student enrolled in another local school designated in the charter
  • A student whose parent or guardian is a member of the governing board or is a full-time teacher, professional, or other employee at the school
  • Students matriculating from a local school designated in the charter
  • Children who matriculate from a pre-kindergarten program associated with the school, including programs that share common facilities or campuses with the school or programs that have established a partnership or cooperative efforts with the school
A conversion charter school must enroll any student who resides in the attendance zone specified in the charter and who submits a timely application. A conversion charter school may give enrollment preference to:
  • A sibling of a student enrolled in the school or in any school in the high school cluster
  • A student whose parent or guardian is a member of the governing board or is a full-time teacher, professional, or other employee at the school
  • Students who were enrolled in the school prior to its becoming a charter school
  • Students who reside in the attendance zone specified in the charter
  • Children who matriculate from a pre-kindergarten program associated with the school, including programs that share common facilities or campuses with the school or programs that have established a partnership or cooperative efforts with the school
A state chartered special school must enroll any student who resides in the attendance zone specified in the charter and who submits a timely application unless the number of applications exceeds the school's capacity. A state chartered special school may give enrollment preference to:
  • A sibling of a student enrolled in the school
  • A sibling of a student enrolled in another local school designated in the charter
  • A student whose parent or guardian is a member of the governing board or is a full-time teacher, professional, or other employee at the school
  • Students matriculating from a local school designated in the charter
  • Children who matriculate from a pre-kindergarten program associated with the school, including programs that share common facilities or campuses with the school or programs that have established a partnership or cooperative efforts with the school
Hawaii Yes. Conversion charter schools must enroll students in the school's former geographic service area and in the grades previously served by the school. Start-up charter schools are open to anyone residing in the state, although the school may select students through a lottery if applications exceed capacity. Startups must give enrollment preference to students of other charters that may have their charter revoked or closed. Startups may give preference to students enrolled in the previous year; siblings of already enrolled students, educationally disadvantaged students through a weighted lottery, or to students as permitted by the authorizer if consistent with law. Startups may organize enrollment around a certain age group or special emphasis.
Idaho Yes. If initial capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils who submit a timely application, then admission is determined by lottery, but preference be given in the following order:
  1. Children of the school's founders, provided that they not be more than 10% of capacity
  2. Siblings of pupils already selected by the lottery or other random method
  3. Students seeking to transfer from another Idaho charter school at which they have been enrolled for at least one year, provided that this preference is subject to an existing written agreement for such preference between the subject charter schools 
  4. Children residing in the charter school's primary attendance area
  5. Students selected through an equitable selection process such as a lottery. If so stated in the charter petition, a new charter school may include children of full-time employees in the 1st priority group.

If capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils for subsequent school terms, then the admission procedures may provide that preference be given in the following order:

  1. Pupils returning to the charter school in the 2nd or any subsequent year of its operation
  2. Children of the school's founders, provided that they not be more than 10% of capacity
  3. Siblings of pupils already enrolled in the public charter school
  4. Students seeking to transfer from another Idaho charter school at which they have been enrolled for at least one year, provided that this preference is subject to an existing written agreement for such preference between the subject charter schools 
  5. Children residing in the charter school's primary attendance area
  6. Students selected through an equitable selection process such as a lottery.
If so stated in the charter petition, the following may be included in the 2nd priority group: (a) Children of full time employees and (b) Children who attended the school within the previous 3 years but withdrew due to a parent/guardian relocation due to an academic sabbatical, employer or military transfer or reassignment. 
Illinois Yes. Enrollment is open to students in the geographic boundaries served by the school, but priority must be given to siblings of pupils enrolled in the charter school and to pupils enrolled in the school the previous school year, unless expelled for cause.

The Chicago school board may designate attendance boundaries for up to one-third of the city's charter schools if it determines that attendance boundaries are needed to relieve overcrowding or to better serve low-income and at-risk students.

In evaluating submitted charter school proposals, the local school board is required to give preference to proposals that:
  • Demonstrate a high level of local pupil, parental, community, business, and school personnel support
  • Set rigorous levels of expected pupil achievement and demonstrate feasible plans for attaining those levels of achievement
  • Are designed to enroll and serve a substantial proportion of at-risk children
Indiana Yes. Charter schools must admit or give equal chances for admittance to any elgible Indiana student who applies. However, a charter school may limit new admissions to allow current students and their siblings to attend the charter school or another charter school run by the same charter operator in subsequent years. During the school year in which an existing school converts to a charter school, the charter school may limit admission to those students who were enrolled in the charter school on the date of the conversion and to their siblings. In addition, charter schools must allow preschool students who attend a Level 3 or Level 4 Paths to QUALITY program preschool to attend kindergarten at the charter school if the charter school and the preschool provider have entered into an agreement to share services or facilities. Finally, a charter school may give enrollment preference to children of the charter school's founders, governing body members and charter school employees, as long as the enrollment preference is not given to more than 10 percent of the school's total population.
 
Iowa Yes. Enrollment priority must be given to siblings of students already enrolled in the charter school.
Kansas No
Louisiana Yes. State law specifies the minimum and/or maximum percentage of at-risk pupils that must attend each type of charter school. For a conversion charter school, pupils enrolled in the preexisting school must be given preference. Charter schools may give preference to students previously enrolled in the school and their siblings. Elementary and middle charter schools may also give preference to students from the schools' immediate neighborhood if the given permission by the authorizer.
Maine Yes. Charter schools must give preference to former students and their siblings and may give preference to children of the school's founding members, governing board members, and employees, but only up to 10% of enrollment. Conversion charter schools must also adopt a policy that gives preference to students residing in the school's former attendance area.
Maryland No
Massachusetts Yes. At least 2 of the new charters approved by the state board of education in any year will be granted for charter schools located in districts where overall student performance on the statewide assessment system is in the lowest 10 percent statewide in the 2 years preceding the application. Charter schools located in low-performing school districts do not apply to the state-wide limit on the number of charter schools. The state board of education may give priority to charter applications that have demonstrated broad community support, an innovative educational plan and a demonstrated commitment to assisting the district in which it is located in bringing about educational change.

Preference for enrollment is given to students already attending and their siblings. Preference for enrollment in a commonwealth charter school must be given to students who reside in the city or town in which the charter school is located. Priority for enrollment in a Horace Mann charter school must be given first to students actually enrolled in the school on the date that the application is filed with the state board of education and to their siblings; second, to other students enrolled in the public schools of the district where the Horace Mann charter school is to be located; and third, to other resident students.

Michigan Yes. Priority may be given to proposed applications that would replace charter schools closed due to poor performance.

Preference may be given to students enrolled in a charter school in prior years and their siblings, a child of a charter school employee or board or directors member, or a student transferring from another public school with a matriculation agreement if the student meets certain criteria. Cyber charters are open to any student in the state, but enrollment is limited to 2,500 in the first year of operation, 5,000 in the second year, and 10,000 in subsequent years.
Minnesota Yes. Charter schools may limit admissions to a specific geographic area in which the school is located when the majority of students served by the school are members of underserved populations. A charter school must give preference for enrollment to a sibling of an enrolled pupil or a foster child of that pupil's parents, and the school may give preference to children of school staff before accepting other pupils by lot.
Mississippi Yes.  Attendance is open to all within geographical boundaries of district. The "underserved" population (free and reduced lunch) has to reflect 80% of the district's underserved population. Enrollees from the previous year, siblings get preference, and the charter can give preference to children of applicants, governing board members and employees as long as numbers don't exceed 10%. When capacity is reached, lottery is used to determine admittance.
 
Missouri Yes.  Charter schools may be operated only:
  • in a metropolitan school district
  • in an urban district of over 350,000 population
  • in a district declared unaccredited
  • in a district classified as provisionally accredited and that has received scores consistent with provisionally accredited or unaccredited for three sonsecutive school years. 
Priority may be given to charter school applicants proposing a school oriented to high-risk students and to the re-entry of dropouts into the school system. If a sponsor grants 3 or more charters, at least one-third must be to schools that actively recruit dropouts or high-risk students as their student body and address the needs of dropouts or high-risk students through their proposed mission, curriculum, teaching methods, and services.

Charter schools are required to enroll all pupils resident in the district in which it operates and nonresident pupils eligible to attend a district's school under an urban voluntary transfer program. For special purpose or alternative schools, the school may give preference to high-risk students or to the re-entry of dropouts or to nonresident students in residential or similar placements indicative of at-risk status, and workplace charters may give preference to parents who work in the district, for example. If capacity of a charter is insufficient to accommodate all applications, it must use a lottery or similar system to randomly select from applicants. A charter school may establish a geographical area around the school whose residents will receive a preference for enrolling in the school, provided that such preferences do not result in the establishment of racially or socioeconomically isolated schools and provided such preferences conform to policies and guidelines established by the state board of education. A charter school may also give a preference for admission of children whose siblings attend the school or whose parents are employed at the school. 

Nevada Yes. If the local school board of the school district in which the charter school is located has established zones of attendance, the charter school must, if practicable, ensure that the racial composition of pupils enrolled in the charter school does not differ by more than 10% from the racial composition of pupils who attend public schools in the zone in which the charter school is located. If a charter school is sponsored by the Clark County (Las Vegas) board of trustees, except for a program of distance education provided by the charter school, the charter school must enroll eligible pupils for enrollment who reside in the school district in which the charter school is located before enrolling pupils who reside outside the school district.

Before a charter school enrolls pupils who are eligible for enrollment, a charter school may enroll a child who:

  • Is a sibling of a pupil who is currently enrolled in the charter school
  • Was enrolled, by a lottery system, in a pre-K program at the charter school or a program affiliated with the school
  • Is a child of a person employed full-time by the charter school
  • Is in a certain category of at-risk pupils and meets the requirements in the charter
  • Resides within the school district and within 2 miles of the charter school if the charter school is located in an area that the sponsor of the charter school determines includes a high percentage of children who are at risk

If space is available after the charter school enrolls pupils pursuant to the previous paragraph, the charter school may enroll children who reside outside the school district but within 2 miles of the charter school if the charter school is located within in an area that the sponsor of the charter school determines includes a high percentage of children who are at risk. If more students described above are eligible for enrollment than space available, the school must use a lottery system to determine enrollment.

New Hampshire Yes.  A pupil who is a resident of the district where the school is located must be given absolute admission preference over a nonresident pupil. Charter schools are permitted to select students based on aptitude, academic achievement or need if such selection is directly related to goals of the school.
New Jersey Yes. The state's charter school law encourages formation of charter schools in urban areas with the participation of higher education institutions. A charter school must give preference to students who reside in the school district where the charter school is located. A charter school may also give enrollment priority to a sibling of a student enrolled in the charter school. If space is available, a charter can enroll nonresident students. Once capacity is reached, a random method of selection must be used.
New Mexico Yes. Start-up charter schools must admit students on a first-come, first-served based or by lottery. When applicants exceed space available, lottery selection is to be used. Enrollment preference is available to siblings of students already admitted to or attending the same charter school.
New York Yes.  A charter entity is encouraged to give preference to applications that demonstrate the capability to provide comprehensive learning experiences to students identified by the applicants as at risk of academic failure. The board of regents and board of trustees for University of New York are required to give preference to applications that best demonstrate how they will achieve the following objectives:
  • Increase student achievement and decrease achievement gaps
  • Increase graduation rates and serving at-risk youth
  • Focus on academic achievement of middle schools
  • Use of high quality assessments
  • Increase local instructional improvement systems
  • Partner with low-performing schools to share best practices and innovations
  • Demonstrate management and leadership techniques to overcome start-up issues
  • Demonstrate district support for the school. 

Preference is also given if 5% of district students are attending charter schools and granting a charter will have significant benefit to students expected to attend or if the district consents to the application.

Yes.  When applications exceed space, charter schools must conduct a lottery. Schools may give preference to students deemed at-risk. An enrollment preference must be provided to pupils returning to the charter school in the 2nd or any subsequent year of operation, pupils residing in the school district in which the charter school is located and siblings of pupils already enrolled in the charter school. Charter schools are required to meet or exceed enrollment and retention targets for students with disabilities, English Language Learners (ELLs) and students eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

North Carolina Yes. In reviewing charter school applications, the state board is encouraged to give preference to applications that demonstrate the capability to provide comprehensive learning experiences to students identified by the applicants as at risk of academic failure. 

For students, schools cannot give preference to academic ability, achievement/aptitude, athletic ability, disability, race, creed, gender, nationality, origin, religion or ancestry. Within one year after it begins operation, the charter school is to make efforts for the population to reasonably reflect the racial and ethnic composition of the special population that the school seeks to serve residing within the local school administrative unit in which the school is located. The school is subject to any court-ordered desegregation plan in effect for the administrative unit.

The school may give priority to siblings (same household - half siblings, stepsiblings and children residing in a family foster home); siblings of students who have completed the highest grade level offered by that school and who were enrolled in at least four grade levels, or if less than four grade levels are offered, in the maximum number of grades offered; children of full-time employees (not to exceed 15% of total enrollment) and children of the board of directors (not to exceed 15% of total enrollment); a student who was enrolled within the past two years but left to study abroad or because of vocational opportunities of the student's parent. Lottery procedures for siblings are spelled out in great detail. 

Once applications exceed capacity, admission is by lottery. 
 
Ohio Yes. A charter school must give preference to students who attended the school the previous year and to students who reside in the school district in which the school is located. A charter school may give preference to siblings of students who attended the school the previous year. The minority and ethnic enrollment must reflect the community that the charter school serves, and charter schools must comply with any desegregation order in effect. Schools cannot admit on the basis of intellectual ability, achievement or aptitude or athletic ability.

Charter schools are permitted to target certain grade levels or age groups, at risk, residents of geographic areas, separate groups of autistic and nondisabled students. Single gender schools are permitted. 
Oklahoma Yes. Except for schools sponsored by the state board, charter schools must give preference to students residing in the district where the charter school is located and eligible students who attend a school "in need of improvement." A charter school may also designate a specific geographic area within the school district in which the charter school is located as an academic enterprise zone and may limit admissions to students who reside within that area. An academic enterprise zone is a geographic area in which 60% or more of the children who reside in the area qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program. Finally, a charter school must enroll students who live in the attendance area of a school or in a school district that is under a court desegration order or party to an agreement with the Office for Civil Rights unless it would violate the resident district's court order or agreement. Once a school's enrollment is at capacity, a lottery process is used. 

Except for school districts, sponsors must give priority to schools that serve at-risk student populations or students from low-performing traditional schools. All sponsors, except for school districts, must give priority to applicants with a demonstrated record of operating at least one school or simliar program with academic success and organizational viability and that serves student populations similar to those the proposed charter seeks to serve.
Oregon Yes. All children who reside in the school district in which the charter school is located are eligible for enrollment, space available. After a charter school has been in operation for one or more years, the charter school may give admissions priority to students who were enrolled in the school during the prior year and to siblings of students who are presently enrolled in the school and who were enrolled in the school in the prior year. Charter schools must hold an equitable lottery process if applications exceed capacity. Schools may hold a weighted lottery favoring historically underserved students including the following factors: race, ethnicity, English language proficiency, socioeconomic status, gender, disability, geographic location, and sexual orientation. The weighted lottery provision expires in the 2020-2021 school year.
Pennsylvania Yes. First preference is given to students who reside in the district or districts. A charter school may give preference in enrollment to a child of a parent who has actively participated in the development of the charter school and to siblings of students presently enrolled in the charter school. If there are more applications than space available, the school must select students on a random basis. A charter school must comply with the school district's desegregation order.
Rhode Island Yes. Priority consideration must be given to charter school applications designed to increase the educational opportunities of educationally disadvantaged and at-risk pupils, and half of the charter schools in the state must be schools for at-risk students.

All types of charter schools must allow students from other districts to transfer to the school, space permitting. If applications exceed available space, the school must hold a lottery. Mayoral academies must enroll students from more than one city or town. 
South Carolina Yes. A charter school may give enrollment priority to a previously enrolled pupil, siblings of an enrolled or previously enrolled pupil, children of charter school employees and the charter committee, up to 20% of the charter school enrollment. A charter school must give priority to in-district children versus out-of-district children, and the out-of-district enrollment must not exceed 20% of the total enrollment of the charter school without the approval of the sponsoring local school board and the sending local school board. A converted charter school must give priority in enrollment to students enrolled in the school at the time of conversion.

The state law requires that the racial composition of a charter school's enrollment reflect that of the school district or of the targeted student population which the charter school proposes to serve, differing by no more than 20% from that population. A charter school may not conflict with any school district desegregation plan or order in effect.

A charter school located on a military base may give priority to students who are dependents of military personnel living on or stationed at the base, up to 50% of charter school enrollment. 

Tennessee Yes. Sponsoring LEAs must give preference to and achievement school districts must accept applications for charter schools that would meet the needs of the following groups of students:
  • Students assigned to or previously enrolled in a school identified as a priority school. 
  • Students who failed to test proficiency in reading/language arts or mathematics. 
  • Students eligible for free and reduced price lunch. 
Schools given preference because they serve these student groups must give priority enrollment to students from these groups.

In new charter schools, if applications exceed capacity, charter schools must give preference to:
  • Previously enrolled students and their siblings.
  • Students attending a sponsored pre-K program or another charter school with an approved articulation agreement.
  • Children residing within the LEA service area in which the public charter school is located.
  • ​Children of teachers, sponsors, or members of the governing board, up to 10% or enrollment or 25 students (whichever is less).

If applications of students who may be given priority exceeds capacity, the school must hold a lottery.

Conversion charters must give priority enrollment to students attending the school prior to the school converting to a charter school and students living in the school zone plus their siblings. The school may accept students living in other school zones, but only after students living in the school zone have been enrolled and if the school has program, class, grade level, and building capacity. If applications of out-of-zone students exceeds capacity, the school must hold a lottery.

Charter schools authorized by the achievement school district must enroll students zoned to attend or currently enrolled in a school eligible to be placed in the achievement school district. If the number of enrolled students does not exceed capacity, the school may enroll the following students, up to 25% of total enrollment, as long as the school has student achievement growth of "at expectations" or above: 

  •  Children of teachers, staff, sponsors, or governing board members.
  • Students who failed to test proficient in reading/language arts or mathematics in the previous year. 
  • Students eligible for free or reduced price lunch. 
Texas
Yes. Campus charter schools, which are approved by a school district, must give preference to students based on geographic and residency limitations, and the schools may give secondary consideration to a student's age, grade level, or academic credentials in general or in a specific area, as necessary for the type of program offered.

Open-enrollment charter schools that are operated by a municipality may give preference to children of employees of the municipality before holding a lottery for the reamining positions, as long as the number of enrolled employees' children constitutes a small percentage of enrollment.
Utah Yes. Conversion charter schools must give preference to students who would have attended the public school. Other charter schools may give preference to:
  • Students whose parents or grandparents were actively involved in the development of the charter school (founders) or are members of the school governing board
  • Students who have a sibling currently attending the charter school
  • Students articulating between charter schools offering similar programs that are governed by the same governing board
  • Students articulating from one charter school to another pursuant to an articulation agreement between the charter schools that is approved by the state charter school board
  • Students who reside within the school district where the charter school is located
  • Students who reside in the municipality in which the school is located
  • Students who reside within a 2 mile radius from the school 
  • Students whose parent is employed by the charter school
A charter school may weight its lottery to give a slightly better chance of admission to educationally disadvantaged students, including:
  • Low-income students
  • Students with disabilities
  • English language learners
  • Migrant students
  • Neglected or delinquent students
  • Homeless students
Virginia Yes. Preference is given to charter school applications that would serve at-risk students. In conversion charter schools, students who attend the school and their siblings have preference. 
Washington Yes. A charter school must give preference to siblings of students already enrolled in the charter school. 
Wisconsin Yes. Charter school authorizers must give preference in awarding charters to charter schools that serve children at risk. Charter schools must give enrollment preference to students who were enrolled in the school in the previous school year and enrolled students' siblings and may give preference to chidlren of founders, governing board members and fulltime employees, provided that those children constitute no more than 10 percent of the school's total enrollment. If a charter school replaces a public school in whole or in part, it must give preference in admission to any pupil who resides within the attendance area or former attendance area of that public school.
Wyoming No


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