Los Angeles Revamps Special Education Structure, Charters Gain More Flexibility
The role of charter schools in special education in Los Angeles has been reorganized under a plan approved January 4, 2011, by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education. Jed Wallace, President and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), praised the new Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA).
"This restructure plan will provide a new option for charter schools, in essence creating the infrastructure within the LAUSD SELPA to better meet the needs of charter schools within the public school system,” Wallace said in a press release. “It will also give charters increased flexibility and control in funding and program delivery, which we hope translates into serving more students with special needs."
In its report to the Board of Education, LAUSD stated the reorganization aims to ensure that “students with disabilities within the LAUSD geographic boundaries are provided access to programs and services at both District-operated and Charter-operated schools” in compliance with federal and state laws. The goal is to “put mechanisms in place that encourage all schools to enroll and support students with disabilities.”
A copy of the Special Education Local Plan Area Reorganization report was provided to the National Charter School Resource Center by LAUSD. The eight-page report includes background on special education oversight and responsibility, details the new arrangement’s impact on charter and district schools, describes the creation of an advisory board, and notes unresolved issues including elements of how money will be distributed and accountability for delivery of services.