Building Stronger Advocacy for Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools

National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools Awarded $1.2 Million by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

October 19, 2018 (NEW YORK)  -- The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) will expand its advocacy capacity for students with disabilities with the support of a $1.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Because students with disabilities are chronically under-served, NCSECS will leverage its unique perspective, expertise, and robust data to improve the educational opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities in the growing charter sector and the broader public education system.

The autonomy charter schools enjoy represents an opportunity to develop and disseminate effective and innovative approaches for educating students with disabilities. Yet, to date, the charter sector has struggled to fully leverage this opportunity.

 “Our goal is to ensure that the context in which charter schools operate fosters equitable access and appropriate services as well as innovative and effective practices for all students with disabilities. This investment will support NCSECS in (1) building capacity to advocate at the national level for efforts that improve outcomes for students with disabilities and (2) leveraging research to inform state efforts to ensure students with disabilities in charter schools thrive across the nation.,” says NCSECS Executive Director Lauren Morando Rhim.

By leading and participating in convenings with federal and state leaders, conducting research, and producing reports, NCSCES aspires to:

  • Strengthen coalitions and champions in support of priority issues at the federal and state levels;

  • Increase use of evidence in policy analyses by decisions makers at the federal and state levels; and

  • Secure resource allocations for priority issues.

About the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS)

Co-founded by Lauren Morando Rhim and Paul O’Neill in 2013, NCSECS advocates for students with diverse learning needs to ensure that if they are interested in attending charter schools, they are able to access and thrive in schools designed to enable all students to succeed.