What is a Magnet School?
A magnet school is a type of school that many districts across the United States have created to focus on a specific discipline, such as science, mathematics, arts, or computer science. Instead of a child going to their normally zoned school, they are able to apply to and attend magnet schools that serve specific purposes.
Background of Magnet Schools
Magnet schools began as a way to voluntarily desegregate schools. The Magnet Schools Assistance program helps in the creation of magnet schools for this purpose. According to federal statute, a magnet school is a public elementary or secondary school that "offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds." (Source: Magnet Schools Assitance, ed.gov)
Many parents hope to get their children placed in magnet schools either for their academic rigor or reputation for providing better education to students. They are able to operate under different sets of rules and instructions than traditional public schools. Further, students who misbehave or do not keep up with school requirements can be made to leave the school. However, it is important to note that not all magnet schools receive the same amount of funding. Further, there is some contention that magnet schools draw the best and brightest away from local schools while also taking funding away from those schools that need it most.
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