FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing
New York, NY (January 9, 2022) –
The Center for Learner Equity (CLE), a national organization dedicated to ensuring students with disabilities thrive, is pleased to announce it has received a $700,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to conduct research over the next year that examines the relationship between charter school growth and the ability of charter schools to educate students with disabilities effectively. This research grant will provide the field with meaningful data and insights on a topic that requires much more exploration.
“There have been few other studies to explore the correlation between the growth of the charter sector and its ability to educate students with a wide range of disabilities and needs. We are approaching this work with an intentional focus on intersectionality to ensure we consider students with disabilities across all lines of difference. Knowing this work has the potential to inform philanthropic giving and best practices in the charter sector, we are excited about the high impact of this project,” said The Center for Learner Equity’s Executive Director and Co-Founder Lauren Morando Rhim. “We are grateful that The Gates Foundation continues to invest in students with disabilities and their right to educational choice and inclusive schools. We’re excited to share our findings and identify opportunities for cross-sector collaboration.”
The research project will be guided by a technical working group of experts in the field. Members of the working group (in no particular order) include Federico Waitoller (University of Illinois at Chicago), Christopher Cleveland (Education Resource Strategies/Harvard University), Alba Ortiz (University of Texas at Austin), Karega Rausch (National Association of Charter School Authorizers), Katie Dammann (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools), Alex Medler (National Network for District Authorizing), Dixon Deutsch (Los Angeles Unified School District), Rochanda Hiligh-Thomas (Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.), Robin Lake (Center on Reinventing Public Education), Amanda Fenton (Capital Advocacy Partners), Caché Owens (Center for Learner Equity/University of New Hampshire), Naomi Shelton (National Charter Collaborative), and Charisse Gulosino (University of Memphis).
The Center for Learner Equity works to eradicate the complex, pervasive, and systematic barriers that prevent students with disabilities from accessing educational opportunities, quality support, and inclusive environments. Informed by those with lived experience, we collaborate with decision-makers responsible for correcting injustice.