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Preston Green, J.D., Ed.D. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Preston Green, J.D., Ed.D.

John and Maria Neag Professor of Urban Education | University of Connecticut


Professor focused on charter school regulation and industry oversight.


Preston Green is the John and Carla Klein Professor of Urban Education at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. He is also a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut. At the University of Connecticut, Dr. Green helped develop the UCAPP Law Program, which enables participants to obtain a law degree and school administrator certification at the same time. Dr. Green also developed the School Law Online Graduate Certificate, a 12-credit online program that helps educators, administrators and policy makers understand the legal dimension of K-12 education.

Before coming to the University of Connecticut, he was the Harry Lawrence Batschelet II Chair Professor of Educational Administration at Penn State, where he was also a professor of education and law and the program coordinator of Penn State’s educational leadership program. In addition, Dr. Green was the creator of Penn State’s joint degree program in law and education. Further, he ran the Law and Education Institute at Penn State, a professional development program that teaches, administrators, and attorneys about educational law.

At the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Green was an associate professor of education. He also served as the program coordinator of educational administration and Assistant Dean of Pre-Major Advising Services.

Dr. Green has written five books and numerous articles and book chapters pertaining to educational law. He primarily focuses on the legal and policy issues pertaining to educational access and school choice.

Areas of Expertise (6)

School Choice

Educational Equity

Industry Oversight

Charter School Regulation

Educational Leadership

Educational Policy

Education (3)

Columbia University: Ed.D., Educational Administration 1995

Columbia University: J.D. 1992

University of Virginia: B.A. 1989

Affiliations (3)

  • American Educational Research Association, Member
  • Education Law Association, Member
  • University Council for Educational Administration, Member






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Media Appearances (32)

Enrichment only for the rich? How school segregation continues to divide students by income

USA Today  print


To address these seemingly intractable disparities, Bellwether estimates that states would need to increase allocations to poorer districts in areas with gaps by more than 20% on average. But such vast funding hikes aren’t realistic, Spurrier said. Instead, he and his colleagues propose limits on how much districts can pull from local tax revenue or policies that allow the revenue to be spread more evenly across a metro area. Another solution could be consolidating districts. “School district lines are an arbitrary thing,” said Preston Green, a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut who studies school funding and segregation. “Other than the politics, there’s nothing that prevents us from redrawing school district lines.”

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‘Are We Being Used as a Test Case?’: Oklahoma Justices Question Catholic Charter

The 74  online


Preston Green, a University of Connecticut education and law professor, called McGinley’s argument a “brilliant framing” that helps the school’s case. He added that if the question eventually reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, he could see the conservative justices siding with the Catholic church. “It just wouldn’t surprise me,” he said. But he added that the Oklahoma charter case is about more than just religion. It’s also about public education funding. “There’s no real consideration about the impact on the public school system. This could really create some fiscal strain.”

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3 Decades In, Charter Schools Continue to Face Legal Challenges

Education Week  online


Preston Green, a professor of education at the University of Connecticut who has written extensively about legal and political issues around charter schools, sees a connection between those efforts and those of charter school advocates. “For a lot of these states, it is a real push towards the funding of private education by any means necessary, be it charter schools, or vouchers, or both,” Green said. “Charter schools, because of their murkiness, they can be used in a variety of ways.”

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Instagram accounts shut down after NYC principal threatens to suspend student followers

Chalkbeat New York  online


Preston Green, a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut, said schools can punish students for speech that disrupts the school’s learning environment or for conduct that occurs on school grounds. But he said suspending kids for following certain Instagram accounts would likely violate their First Amendment rights. “Mere ‘following’ can’t be sufficient,” he said. “That’s going too far.”

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“Betsy DeVos Was a Disaster. I Think Erika Donalds Could Be Worse.”

Mother Jones  online


Preston Green, a University of Connecticut education professor who has studied the school choice movement, believes that Hillsdale may be laying the groundwork to deliver Christian education through publicly funded schools. He pointed to the example of a Catholic school in Oklahoma, which if it opens as planned in 2024 will become the nation’s first religiously affiliated charter school. Green says he expects the Supreme Court to take on the issue of religious charter schools in the near future. “Hillsdale has the infrastructure and the mechanism for delivering religious charters if and when the Supreme Court gives the go-ahead.”

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Charter school lost case over skirts rule for girls, but debate over charter autonomy isn’t over

Associated Press  online


The Supreme Court’s denial was a significant win for those who have long held that charter schools are, by their very nature, public institutions. But the debate over whether privately run charter schools can forgo constitutional protections, often in the name of innovation, is far from settled. “The Supreme Court kicked the can down the road,” said Preston Green, a professor of education and law at the University of Connecticut. “Stay tuned. More to come.”

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First religious charter school approved in Oklahoma despite state ban

Chalkbeat  online


If it opens as planned, St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School would offer students an explicitly religious curriculum based on the teachings of the Catholic Church. The move sets the stage for a lengthy legal battle that could well reach the U.S. Supreme Court. The ensuing debate could also splinter the charter school movement. And the result could ultimately lead to the growth of religious charter schools around the country. “Politicians in Oklahoma and some of these other states want this. They see the Supreme Court moving in that direction,” said Preston Green, an education and law professor at the University of Connecticut who has long written about the possibility of religious charter schools. “It has major implications nationwide."

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Nation’s First Religious Charter School Could Be Coming to Oklahoma

The New York Times  print


Should the question make its way to the Supreme Court, Preston Green, a professor at the University of Connecticut who studies educational law, believes that the court’s conservative majority would be likely to embrace charter schools as “private actors,” opening the door to religious charters. “I just can’t see them saying ‘no’ to this, if they get a chance,” he said.

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Schools Are Confronting Centuries of Racial Injustice. Will They Offer Reparations?

Education Week  online


Preston Green, a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut, sees the fight for reparations as a long-term effort to shine a light on persistent racial disparities. In 2021, he and two fellow education scholars, Bruce Baker and Joseph Oluwole, published a playbook for how reparations around K-12 schooling could work. The first step, they argue, would be to undo current school funding policies that exacerbate racial disparities, including state aid that doesn’t sufficiently compensate for low property tax revenue in historically under-resourced Black communities, and funding formulas that fail to target additional aid to students who would most benefit from it.

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Virginia Republicans tout school choice bill; Democrats call it a nonstarter

WDBJ 7  tv


Preston Green, a professor of Education at the University of Connecticut, who is from Virginia and went to UVA and has studied voucher programs extensively, says funding is only part of the problem with this bill. “When you look very closely at the laws and protections for students from marginalized backgrounds, for instance, many of them leave a lot to be desired. I’m very concerned about the issues they pose for under resourced school districts,” Green said. Green says the legislation harms students with disabilities because only private schools that receive federal funding are required to follow section 504 and religious schools are not required at all. It’s a law that protects students with disabilities, ensuring schools provide them with appropriate accommodations.

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Oklahoma attorney general greenlights religious charter schools

K-12 Dive  online


The opinion follows in the footsteps of the Supreme Court’s landmark cases Carson v. Makin and Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which allowed private institutions to have access to public funding regardless of their religious status or use. It was not unexpected for education and law experts following the issue. “I wasn’t surprised. Many of us saw this coming,” said Preston Green, professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut. “You could see how the court was gradually setting this possibility up.”

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The 2022 Midterms: Why Educators Should Care What Happens

Education Week  online


Over 6,000 state legislative seats in 46 states are up for election this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. A number of states have led the charge in passing bills limiting how schools can approach race, gender identity, and sexuality in the classroom. Seventeen states have passed laws aimed at preventing teachers from discussing what they call divisive concepts like race, gender, and sexuality. Nearly a third of teachers who have chosen not to address those topics in the classroom worry about professional or legal consequences, according to an EdWeek Research Center survey of teachers. “Things that public schools focus on, in terms of teaching students about various issues and making sure students are protected, all of those hallmarks of public education are being attacked,” said Preston Green, an education leadership and law professor at the University of Connecticut. “Depending on how the Republicans do, you may see more of it.”

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Schoolhouse Showdown

UConn 360 Podcast  online


Preston Green is a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut and the John and Maria Neag Professor of Urban Education at the Neag School of Education. He’s a nationally recognized expert on school choice, charter schools, and the complex legal landscape of American public education. He’s also a great follow on Twitter, and a fun person to talk to about issues that are at the forefront of American politics. He stops by this week to talk about the Supreme Court, charter schools, the fight over school curricula, and more.

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Milwaukee Carmen union drive shows how charter schools straddle public and private sectors

WUWM Milwaukee  radio


Preston Green, an educational policy professor at the University of Connecticut, says there is ongoing legal debate about whether charter schools are public or private institutions. "Courts have had a very difficult time over the years making these distinctions whether charter schools are public or private because the laws may be different depending on the issue," Green says.

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Biden Supreme Court Nominee, Praised for ‘Stellar Civil Rights Record,’ Could Face Conflict on Upcoming Harvard Admissions Case

The 74  online


But as the first Black woman on the court, Jackson would likely be more attuned to issues of race and gender as reflected in school dress codes or restrictions on Black hairstyles like braids, and she might see “discrimination that maybe another justice might not,” said Preston Green, an education professor at the University of Connecticut. Jackson would join the court at a time when conservative justices have signaled they’re open to rolling back abortion rights and have already moved in the direction of more religious freedom. “This court is really undoing a lot of decisions that people have thought were off the table,” Green said.

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‘The next frontier’: Supreme Court case could open door to religious charter schools

Chalkbeat  online


Some legal scholars say that raises a new question. If a state can’t keep a private religious school out of its voucher program, can it stop a religious school from participating in its charter school program? “Charter schools are the next frontier,” Preston Green, an education law professor at the University of Connecticut. Compared to school vouchers, “this could actually be more of a win for religious entities if they can get it.”

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In Dress Code Case, Federal Appeals Court to Weigh in on Public Status of Charter Schools

The 74  online


The outcome of another federal lawsuit, scheduled for oral arguments before the Supreme Court Wednesday, could also back up that argument. In Carson v. Makin, plaintiffs argue that religious schools should be able to participate in school choice programs even if they teach religion. Preston Green, an education professor at the University of Connecticut, said a Supreme Court opinion in favor of the plaintiffs in Carson would strengthen the case for religious charters.

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How Far Will Supreme Court’s Super-Conservative Majority Go to Push Religious Freedom in Public Schools? Maine Choice Case Provides Fresh Test

The 74  online


In June, the 2nd Circuit ruled that students in Vermont can use public funds at religious schools. So far the state hasn’t appealed the ruling, perhaps waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in on Carson. And maybe in anticipation of the justices siding with the plaintiffs, Gov. Chris Sununu in neighboring New Hampshire signed legislation in July removing the restriction on religious schools in that state’s tuitioning program. A decision for the plaintiffs could prompt some states to get out of the voucher business if they can’t place restrictions on curriculum, noted Preston Green, an education professor at the University of Connecticut.

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Charter Schools’ Scary Future

The New Republic  print


The Biden Department of Education hasn’t indicated whether it plans to once again ban religiously affiliated charters from participating in the program. Such a prohibition would almost certainly be challenged in court as discriminatory by advocates who have a growing list of legal rulings on their side. “It’s not a question of if, but when,” said Preston Green, an education and law professor at the University of Connecticut, who first began writing about the possibility of religious charter schools back in 2001. “For religious entities, access to public revenue is tremendously appealing, and now you have the courts basically saying to states, ‘You can’t prevent this.’”

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Organizing Mutual Aid Education and School Funding Reparations

Talk Out of School  online


Host Leonie Haimson interviews Dr. Preston Green, professor at the Univ. of Connecticut, who has co-authored a fascinating article that proposes that part of the government’s reparations to Black communities for slavery and ongoing discrimination be made in the form of increasing funding for their underfunded public schools.

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A flood of new charters shows how the industry may try to thrive — despite the pandemic

AlterNet  online


"Charters have honed their message to attract Black and Latinx students over the years, particularly with the ploy that charters can provide students with a private school educational experience," Preston Green told me. "It is quite possible that this messaging might also sway suburban parents." Green, a University of Connecticut professor, is the author of numerous critical studies of charter schools, including one in which he argued that the charter industry's operations resemble the business practices of Enron, the mammoth energy corporation that collapsed under a weight of debt and scandal.

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DeVos will let religious groups apply for charter grants, opening up new legal battlefront

Chalkbeat  online


Preston Green, a education law professor at the University of Connecticut who has written extensively about the legal status of charter schools, agrees with the department’s analysis. “I think that legally they’re on strong ground,” he said. He noted that the Trump administration’s analysis still doesn’t seem to allow for federal money for charter schools run in a religious manner, but said this could be a step in that direction. This “is a further advancement of what they want in the end, which I think is direct funding of religious education,” he said.

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Tennessee’s overturned school voucher law goes before appeals court on Wednesday

Chalkbeat Tennessee  online


Others are watching how the economic fallout from the pandemic could affect public school funding, especially as the school choice movement has gained steam under the Trump administration. “The larger the school choice program, the greater the possible stress on public schooling. This should be of special concern in a pandemic when we know there’s a very good chance that public school funding will be reduced,” said Preston Green, a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut.

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Education 101: Don’t Open a New Charter School in the Middle of a Pandemic

Citizen Truth  online


“[These parents and public school advocates] should expect charter schools to drain financial resources from their communities’ public schools,” Preston Green told me in a phone call. Green, a University of Connecticut professor, is the author of numerous critical studies of charter schools, including one in which he argued that the charter industry’s operations resemble the business practices of Enron, the mammoth energy corporation that collapsed under a weight of debt and scandal.

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This Supreme Court case could deliver a win for school choice advocates. What might happen next?

Chalkbeat  online


If it’s discriminatory to prevent families from taking vouchers to religious schools, why shouldn’t students in public schools be able to take their allotment of state funding to a religious school? “There really is the possibility, however slight, that this case could upend the funding structure for public education,” said Preston Green, a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut.

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Does An International School Operating In NYC Have A ‘No Israelis’ Policy?

Forward  online


But both Bloomfield and Preston Green III, a professor of educational leadership and law at the University of Connecticut, said the case was made more complicated by the fact that Segal is not an American citizen or based in the United States. Green added that it would also need to be determined whether the American University of Beirut is indeed an American university.

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From Black Armbands to Instagram

National Education Policy Center  online


In this Q&A, NEPC Fellow Preston Green III marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Tinker v. Des Moines case by tracing its student speech implications to the Instagram age.

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Research shows that charter schools do best for California’s low-income and minority students. Now state officials are considering slowing their expansion

LA School Report  online


Preston Green, a professor of education at the University of Connecticut, has warned that the lack of tighter regulations has complicated the financial state of small districts, potentially leading to a bifurcated school system resembling that of the Jim Crow South. While he said he understands the appeal of charters as an option for black and Latino families, he also said that he supported a temporary moratorium on new charters.

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Charter Schools Exploit Lucrative Loophole That Would Be Easy To Close

International Business Times  online


While critics charge that charter schools are siphoning money away from public schools, a more fundamental issue frequently flies under the radar: the questionable business practices that allow people who own and run charter schools to make large profits. Charter school supporters are reluctant to acknowledge, much less stop, these practices.

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A rural school turns to digital education. Is it a savior or devil's bargain?

NBC News  tv


“It’s a moral hazard issue — a devil’s bargain,” Preston Green, a professor of education leadership and law at the University of Connecticut, said after reviewing the contract between the school and K12. “These districts need the money, are responsible for these students but the students are not a part of them. The question becomes: How concerned is the district going to be? It just doesn’t have the incentive to focus on these students. They’re just dollars to them.”

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‘A Failed and Damaging Experiment:’ NEA Takes on Unaccountable Charter Schools

neaToday  online


The lack of basic safeguards has opened up the charter school sector to “educational entrepreneurs,” says Preston C. Green, professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Connecticut. “These actors may also run businesses whose interests conflict with the charter schools that they are operating.” (...)

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Problems with charter schools that you won’t hear Betsy DeVos talk about

Washington Post  online


Preston C. Green III, Bruce Baker and Joseph Oluwole’s article, entitled “Having It Both Ways: How Charter Schools Try to Obtain Funding of Public Schools and the Autonomy of Private Schools,” explains how charters use “their hybrid characteristics to obtain the benefits of public funding while circumventing state and federal rights and protections for employees and students that apply to traditional public schools.” (...)

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Articles (9)

Beware of Educational Blackmail: How Can We Apply Lessons from Environmental Justice to Urban Charter School Growth?

South Carolina Law Review

Preston Green and Chelsea Connery


This Article explains how environmental justice principles can be used in litigation and legislation to enable minority families in urban communities to benefit from charter schools while at the same time protecting against the dangers posed to their school systems and children. In Part II, we explain how environmental justice concepts are designed to protect against environmental blackmail, which is the promise of economic benefits made by polluting companies in exchange for extreme risks to the health of workers and communities where toxic sites are located. In Part III, we describe how a similar form of blackmail may be occurring in urban charter schools—a phenomenon we have coined “educational blackmail.” In Part IV, we analyze environmental justice litigation and charter school litigation. We also assess the extent to which plaintiffs can use environmental justice concepts to address the expansion of urban charter schools. Finally, we examine environmental justice laws to determine how urban school districts and students can utilize the charter school statutes and regulations to better protect themselves against harm.

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How reparations can be paid through school finance reform

The Conversation

Preston Green and Bruce Baker


White public schools have always gotten more money than Black public schools. These funding disparities go back to the so-called “separate but equal” era – which was enshrined into the nation’s laws by the Supreme Court’s 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. The disparities have persisted even after Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that ordered the desegregation of America’s public schools.

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School Finance, Race, and Reparations

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Preston Green, Bruce D. Baker, and Joseph Oluwole


In this article we explain why and how school finance reform should be a part of a reparations program for Black Americans. This article proceeds in six parts. Part I explains how Black-white school funding disparities occurred during the separate-but-equal era. Part II discusses how these funding disparities have occurred in the aftermath of the Brown decision. Parts III and IV explore why school desegregation and school finance litigation, respectively, have failed to remedy these gaps. Part V lays out a reparations framework that state legislatures could adopt to provide restitution to schools and taxpayers harmed by state policies creating Black-white racial funding disparities. Part VI discusses the role that the federal government could play in a school finance reparations program

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OPINION: Should plaintiffs in a U.S. Supreme Court ruling about school choice be careful what they wish for?

The Hechinger Report

Bruce Baker and Preston Green


When states choose to operate a program that involves public (or publicly governed) financing of private service providers, can the state choose to exclude religious providers? That’s the question that Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue asks about U.S. schools. It’s been nearly two decades since the U.S. Supreme Court said government programs that provide vouchers for schooling, including religious schools, do not violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment, even where most available options are religious schools.

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Are Charter Schools the Second Coming of Enron?: An Examination of the Gatekeepers That Protect against Dangerous Related-Party Transactions in the Charter School Sector

Indian Law Journal

Preston C Green, Bruce D Baker, Joseph Oluwole

2017 This article is divided into four parts. Part I describes how Fastow used his management of Enron and the SPEs to obtain illegal profits. Part II discusses why financial sector gatekeepers failed to stop these related-party transactions. Part III shows how charter school officials are benefitting from their control over charter schools and their affiliates in a manner similar to Fastow. Part IV analyzes pertinent statutory and regulatory provisions to identify steps that can be taken to increase the gatekeepers’ ability to protect against harmful related-party transactions.

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Non-religion-based State Constitutional Challenges to Educational Voucher and Tax Credit Programs

Peabody Journal of Education

Preston C Green III

2016 This article provides an overview of non-religion-based state constitutional challenges to educational voucher and tax credit/scholarship programs.

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School Inequality: Challenges and Solutions: Allen Chair Issue 2016: Charter Schools: Are We Heading Toward a Charter School" Bubble"?: Lessons From the Subprime Mortgage Crisis

University of Richmond Law Review

Preston C Green III, Bruce D Baker, Joseph O Oluwole, Julie F Mead

2016 Since 1992, forty-three states and the District of Columbia have passed charter school legislation. 1 Charter schools are commonly defined as public schools that are given considerable latitude from state rules and regulations that apply to traditional public schools while being held accountable for student achievement. 2 There are more than 6700 charter schools nationwide, serving nearly three million students, which accounts for 6% of public school enrollment. 3

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An Analysis of the New York Charter School Auditing Cases

West's Education Law Reporter

Preston C Green, Joseph Oluwole

2015 This article explains how New York’s charter schools have, thus far, relied upon their private characteristics to avoid audits by the state comptroller. In each instance, the charter schools prevailed by demonstrating that they were more “private” than the institutions that the state constitution authorized the comptroller to audit.

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Cyber Charter Schools and Students With Dis/abilities: Rebooting the Idea to Address Equity, Access, and Compliance

Equity & Excellence in Education

Kathleen M Collins, Preston C Green III, Steven L Nelson, Santosh Madahar

2015 This article takes up the question of equity, access, and cyber charter schools from the perspective of disability studies in education (DSE). DSE positions inclusion and educational access as social justice concerns. In doing so, we assert the importance of making visible the social justice implications of the current laws that impact cyber charter schools and students with disabilities.

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