ERIC Number: ED464427
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Project SEARCH: Special Education as Requirements in Charter Schools. Final Report of a Research Study: Cross-State Analysis of Findings and Summaries of State Case Studies.
Ahearn, Eileen M.; Lange, Cheryl M.; Rhim, Lauren Morando; McLaughlin, Margaret J.
This document presents findings of Project SEARCH, a qualitative research study of how charter schools interpret laws and regulations governing the education of children with disabilities, especially the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The project involved a preliminary 15-state policy analysis followed by in-depth case studies of seven states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina) and the District of Columbia. Findings identify recurring themes in the areas of governance, service delivery models, accountability, operational issues, and technical assistance. Two central tensions or policy conflicts were also identified: first, balancing procedural regulations and the goal of autonomy and second, negotiating parental choice and special education team decision making. Ten recommendations address the themes identified earlier and include: (1) policy guidance is needed regarding a charter school's local education agency's status as it applies to legal responsibilities under IDEA and related state laws; (2) authorizers should permit charter schools to consider a variety of options for meeting their special education responsibilities; and (3) during the initial start-up (one to three years) charter schools should affiliate with a special education infrastructure. Extensive appendices include details on the study's methodology and executive summaries for each of the state case studies. (Contains 15 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Accountability, Case Studies, Charter Schools, Compliance (Legal), Delivery Systems, Disabilities, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Qualitative Research, School Administration, Special Education, State Standards, Technical Assistance
National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Project Search, 1800 Diagonal Rd., Suite 320, Alexandria, VA 22314. Web site: http://www.nasdse.org/Project/Search/Project_Search documents.html. For full text: http://www.nasdse.org/project search.htm.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Alexandria, VA.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act