In the continuing battle over the growth of charter schools, critics often say that many New York charter schools push out students with special needs.
But the city’s Independent Budget Office on Thursday released a report that charter school supporters saw as vindication. It said that children with disabilities stayed at charter schools at a slightly higher rate than they did at traditional public schools. The report comes at a particularly potent moment for charter school advocates, and their detractors, as the state government wrestles over an ambitious education agenda laid out this month by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The report examined 3,000 students at charter schools, which are publicly financed but privately run, and 7,200 students at nearby traditional public schools who started kindergarten in 2008.
The study found that 53 percent of the charter school kindergartners with disabilities were still in the same schools four years later, compared with 49 percent of their counterparts in traditional schools.
The results were similar among the overall population of students in the study, with 64 percent still at the same charter schools and 56 percent remaining in the same traditional schools.