Tough Question - Is an MI Charter School legal?
Original post made by Asking Questions, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 8, 2007
A Mandarin Immersion program wouldn't be new, different, innovative, it would just be an immersion program in a different language.
Now, here's the question. Do charter laws allow a charter school to define itself based on nothing more than ethnic differentiation?
The definition of "Ethnic" by the way from Meriam Webster dictionary online: "of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background."
What if they are open to anyone who wants to join?
What if they are open to anyone, but there are linguistic barriers to entry (ie: Mandarin proficiency testing required for entrance above 1st grade) that create an ethnic bias for the program?
In other words, what if the ethnicity (language) preference built in to the program prevents people of other ethnicities (languages)from being able to realistically consider the program. (For example, Mandarin is very difficult language - some prospective immersion customers might consider Spanish, but wouldn't consider Mandarin a viable option.)
If families don't speak Mandarin at home, does this create an ethnic centric barrier to entry?
Charter Law from the Ed Code: Charter schools "shall not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability.
Is discrimination based on language = ethnic discrimination?
Is a Mandarin Charter school legal?