There must be something in the water in the office buildings of the U.S. House of Representatives. This week there have been two, bi-partisan, education bills introduced – a departure from business as usual!
On Monday, Congressmen Kline (R-MN) and Miller (D-CA) introduced the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act, legislation that – among other things – would go a long way to ensuring that charter schools are indeed a public school choice option for students with disabilities.
As we’ve reported, CEC has had concerns that charter schools were not adequately enrolling and serving students with disabilities, a possible violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (Check out CEC’s Policy on Children with Exceptionalities in Charter Schools)
Provisions included in the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act advocated for by CEC, include:
- A requirement that State entities describe in their applications how they will ensure charters can meet the educational needs of students with disabilities;
- An assurance that State entities will ensure authorizing agencies ensure charter schools are meeting the obligations of IDEA and section 504;
- An assurance that State entities will adequately monitor and help charter schools to recruit, enroll, and meet the needs of all students with disabilities; and
- The definition of High Quality Charter School specifically includes schools that have demonstrated success in significantly increasing academic achievement for all students, and specifically students with disabilities.
Also this week, CEC joined other organizations in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to allow for greater transparency of charter school authorizers and the schools they oversee, particularly whether a school is established solely to address students with a particular disability.
Tell us, how are charter schools in your area serving students with disabilities? Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org