Here are some of the basics of Arizona charter school rights and expelled students. Students expelled from a public school in Arizona often seek out alternative arrangements for schooling. Accordingly, parents or legal guardians of an expelled student may explore the possibility of the student attending a charter school.

Basics of Charter Schools and Expelled Students

Charter schools offer an expelled student an opportunity for a “fresh start” in a new school environment. In many cases, students with disciplinary problems benefit from a change in environment. However, parents and legal guardians should be aware of the fact that charter schools are not obligated to take on students who have been expelled from a public school or are in the process of being expelled. There are many questions that can arise with students who have been expelled in the past, as they may represents a potential disciplinary risk for the new or current school.

Are We Required to Admit All Student Applicants?

According to §15-184(F) of the Arizona Revised Statutes, a charter school may deny admittance to any pupil who has already been expelled, or is going through the process, from any educational institution. As the language of the law states charter schools “may” deny a student who has been expelled or currently being expelled, a charter school is not required to admit a student under these circumstances, but also is not prohibited from doing so.

Making Individual Decisions

The decision to accept a student will depend on individual school policy and the student’s disciplinary record, among other factors. If a charter school does not accept an expelled student, an alternative school, a distance learning center or home schooling may provide other options. In some cases, a student who is not able to attend a charter school close enough to his or her home may be directly assigned to an alternative education program by the home school district. It is important for parents or legal guardians to weigh the available options to provide a backup educational plan.

Bear in mind that it’s worthwhile not only to be aware of a charter school’s rights with regard to expelled students, but also to have a clear policy for reviewing all relevant student applications. Although you may never encounter the situation, it’s much better to be prepared, just in case, rather than having to make up a policy for handling this with a potential new student.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Basics of Arizona Charter School Rights and Expelled Students, or other Education Law matters, please feel free to contact Candyce B. Pardee at  800.863.6718, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona with a branch office in Yuma, Arizona, and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.