New Tool To Guide Special Ed Policy

NCSECS is excited to announce publication of the Model Policy Guide: Leveraging Policy to Increase Access and Quality Opportunities for Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools. This resource is designed to provide policy makers, legislators, and educational leaders with information, context, and model language from which to draw in developing strong statutory and regulatory provisions relating to serving students with disabilities in charter schools. We address a range of issues that significantly impact the ability of charter schools to provide effective and equitable special education offerings.

Federal statutes establish specific rights and responsibilities that shape how students with disabilities are educated in all public schools. Within these parameters, state charter school laws include provisions that define the legal identity of charter schools within the broader public school system, and shape the extent of a charter school’s responsibility for the provision of special education and related services. However, the specificity of these statutes varies considerably from state to state, as does the manner in which they are operationalized by individual authorizers. This guide outlines specific language intended to inform state charter school policy development that we propose will help states establish environments in which charter schools can successfully educate students with disabilities, and will ideally accelerate development and adoption of innovative practices.

It is our vision that states interested in strengthening their charter legislation and/or regulations and their support for students with disabilities in charter schools will adopt and adapt one or more passages from the Model Policy Guide into their existing statutes or regulations. In developing this resource, our goal is to help charter schools embrace their responsibilities to provide high quality special education and related services. The guide outlines language that supports this goal in a way that is both nuanced and reflective of best practices developed over the first 25 years of charter schooling.
 
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Interested in learning more about the Model Policy Guide? Join us for an interactive webinar with lead author and NCSECS Co-Founder Paul O’Neill at 2pm EST on May 9, 2017. Click here to register.