By: Paul O'Neill
There is nothing easy about public education, but there are quite a few things that raise the level of difficulty even higher. One of these is meeting the needs of students with disabilities. Another is engaging in effective oversight of charter school programs.
A new resource from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) provides crucial, comprehensive guidance regarding the crossroads of these two challenges.
Their toolkit highlights best practices with the hopes that more authorizers will consider the needs of students with disabilities during each phase of the charter school lifecycle. For example, the toolkit offers a useful summary of applicable laws and regulations; profiles exemplary authorizers who are effectively addressing special education; and addresses important financial considerations relating to special education in charter schools.
Meeting the needs of students with a wide range of disabilities and navigating layers of federal and state compliance obligations is a complex challenge. By providing authorizers with critical information and empowering them to ensure that schools understand and meet the challenges of serving all students, we are hopeful that supports and services for students in charter schools will improve.