Magnet School [Education] Law and Legal Definition
Magnet school is a public school offering a specialized curriculum, often with high academic standards, to a student body representing a cross section of the community. They attract students of different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds with similar educational interests, provide unique sets of learning opportunities, encourage innovation, and promote academic gains for some students. Magnet Schools provide leadership for innovative instructional programs that promote equity, diversity, and academic excellence for all students in public school choice programs.
There are magnet schools at the elementary school, middle school, and high school levels. In the U.S., where education is decentralized, some magnet schools are established by school districts and draw only from the district. Other magnet programs are within comprehensive schools, as is the case with several ‘schools within a school.’ In large urban areas, several magnet schools with different specializations can be combined into a single center. Some magnet schools have a competitive entrance process, requiring an entrance examination, interview, or audition. Other magnet schools select all students who apply or use a lottery system, or a system combining some elements of competitive entrance and a lottery.
The following is an example of a Federal statute defining magnet school:
According to 34 CFR 280.4 [Title 34 – Education; Subtitle B -- Regulations of the Offices of the Department of Education; Chapter II -- Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education; Part 280 -- Magnet Schools Assistance Program; Subpart A – General], the term magnet school means “a public elementary school, public secondary school, public elementary education center, or public secondary education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds.”