Resources & Research

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The Facts on Charter Schools and Students with Disabilities

Overview from NICHCY:

"Charter schools are fairly new in public education, and they’ve generated a lot of interest and inquiry. For many families and educators, charter schools offer more options for how students will be educated. For others, charter schools are confusing—Why, for example, are some charter schools not open for enrollment to students who live nearby? And what about students with disabilities? May they go to charter schools? If so, is special education available in charter schools?

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Struggling with special education, charter schools join together

Connecting charter schools with similar special education needs is the chief goal of the New York City Charter School Center’s Special Education Collaborative, which builds off of local efforts to boost special education at charter schools that have been going in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn since 2007.

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Free Appropriate Public Education for Students With Disabilities: Requirements Under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance, including federal funds. Section 504 provides that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . .

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Financing the Education of High-Need Students

School districts face an enormous financial burden when it comes to educating our highest-need students. Financing the Education of High-Need Students focuses on three specific challenges that are often encountered when districts—especially small ones—grapple with the costs of serving their highest-need special-education students.

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El Dorado County Charter SELPA | ANNUAL DASHBOARD Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) REPORT OF SELECT STATISTICS May 2013

El Dorado Charter SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) began in 2006-07 with four charter partners, operating 10 charter schools. The Charter SELPA has grown to include 74 partners, operating 171 charter schools, representing over 71,000 students.

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Improving Access and Creating Exceptional Opportunities for Students with Disabilities in Public Charter Schools

This report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools explores the relevant legal framework that shapes special education in the charter sector; outlines both the challenges and opportunities presented by state public charter school laws that create autonomous schools that operate separate from or alongside traditional public school districts; and identifies key accountability structures. 

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Michigan Operator Primer on Special Education in Public School Academies (PSA)

The newly updated Michigan Operator Primer for Special Education in Public School Academies (PSAs, the name for charter schools in the state) includes sections on the pre-authorization stage; preparing for start-up; operating a public school academy; accountability, data collection, and renewal; and non-renewal, revocation, and termination.

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The Inclusion of Students With Disabilities in School Accountability Systems: An Update

This October 2013 report from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences provides analyses of the extent of the inclusion of students with disabilities in school accountability systems. The report includes overall data for charter schools and how students with disabilities affect whether schools make adequate year progress (AYP). Findings are based on U.S. Department of Education EDFacts data from the 2006–07 to 2009–10 school years for up to 44 states and the District of Columbia.

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English Language Learning and Leadership: Putting it All Together

As our student population becomes increasingly linguistically diverse, educators are faced with the challenge of providing academically rigorous instruction to English language learners (ELLs).  Because this requires teachers to adopt new strategies that challenges learners to think at higher levels, it will subsequently require leaders to intentionally address all aspects of the change process to ensure that teachers have the support they need to successfully incorporate  new strategies in their classrooms.