Koby Levin, reporter for Chalkbeat, tried to attend meetings of the board of 10 charter schools in Detroit. It was challenging, to say the least.

When parents have an issue with their child’s school, there’s at least one place where they’re guaranteed a hearing on anything from school finance to student discipline: a school board meeting.

Yet in Detroit, a city with an infamously troubled school landscape, dozens of charter school board meetings are hard to find or poorly attended — if they happen at all.

Even finding the meeting times can be difficult. When a Chalkbeat reporter called to inquire about the board meeting at Covenant House Academy, the person on the other end of the line said “I don’t have that information,” and quickly ended the call.

David Ellis Academy did post its meeting schedule online, but the April meeting was set for Easter Sunday. It was canceled without notice.

These schools had not broken the law. But critics view such incidents as proof that charter schools in Detroit, which bring in more than $350 million from taxpayers for the 36,000 students they serve each year, aren’t doing enough to engage the community

A reporter tried to attend 10 charter board meetings, proceeding roughly in alphabetical order. Four were canceled. When meetings took place, the reporter was the only person in the room who didn’t work for or oversee the school, except for one meeting where an advocate spoke on behalf of a student she believed had been wrongly expelled.

This is a pattern of disrespect.

As a side note, I will add that this story exemplifies why I admire Chalkbeat. Even though it is funded by billionaires including Gates, Walton, and Broad, it’s journalism is not tilted to favor the funders’ clear preference for charters. That’s why I make a small annual donation to Chalkbeat. It is informative and honest.