Special Education Choices: Charter Schools and Students with Disabilities
Dailey, Breanna M.
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Through the myriad of choices for schooling including public schools, charter schools, Educational Management Organization schools, Charter Management Organizations, and private schools; students with disabilities have a difficult time finding schools that meet their needs. School choice for students with disabilities is difficult to achieve when being "counseled out", encouraged not to apply, or admitted into programs that the school does not support. The cost of a charter school to educate a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is significantly higher than that of a student without an IEP. Additionally, most schools of choice do not have a special education director or school psychologist on staff to help meet the special needs students. Although charter schools have fewer economic resources and have problems financing special education, laws mandate that inclusive education be a reality for all school types and systems. A survey of charter school teachers will help to determine areas of improvement for serving students with IEPs. Teachers work with these students continuously and should know how to help serve these students. Several possible improvements that may come of this survey would include: having a certified staff member at the school at all times whenever the teacher needs help, increased training and awareness of the different types of disabilities and how best to work with them, and a group that can help charter schools navigate the laws and regulations of special education.