ERIC Number: ED442221
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-24
Reference Count: N/A
The Politics of Special Education Policy in Charter School Legislation: Lessons from Pennsylvania.
Dale, Richard E.
This study explored how and why special education policy issues were treated as they were in the formulation of Pennsylvania's charter school law, Act 22 of 1997. The qualitative study utilized formal and informal interviews of state policymakers, review of documents, review of archival records, and participant observation. Findings indicated a philosophical mismatch between two educational concepts: charter schools (a deregulated movement) and special education (seen as an over-regulated area). Among 15 specific findings were the following: (1) policymakers failed to anticipate the paradoxical outcome of making charter schools autonomous; (2) special education issues were neglected because special education experts were not called upon to contribute to the design of Act 22 of 1997; (3) policymakers feared that the charter school bill might be derailed if much time or exposure were given in the debate to the controversial matter of special education; and (4) the shift in competing values away from an emphasis on equity to a focus on liberty (choice) and efficiency contributed to the neglect of special education issues. The paper urges Pennsylvania policymakers to review and clarify issues concerning the Act's special education funding formula, admission of children with disabilities, transportation, and teacher certification. (Contains 25 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania