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ERIC Number: ED520650
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 276
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-4619-2
Reducing ABA Litigation through Autism-Centric Charter Schools: Legally Viable or Vulnerable?
Decker, Janet R.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
A recent study discovered that charter schools designed for children with autism or "autism-centric charter schools" comprise half of the total number of charter schools designed for children with disabilities. However, these unique charter schools may be vulnerable to legal challenges because they may be violating the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act's Least Restrictive Environment and Individual Education Program team decision-making requirements, as well as equal protection constitutional principles. At the same time, autism-centric charter schools may be one solution to reduce Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) litigation which is an increasing and divisive subset of autism-related lawsuits. Thus, this study examines whether federal and state law may need to evolve in order to meet the current policy needs of the increasing number of students with autism while also decreasing expensive litigation. First, the researcher provides an overview of the current literature examining the law and litigation relevant to autism-centric charter schools. Next, the study provides a summary of the findings gleaned from a uniquely comprehensive mixed-methods review of all the published, substantive ABA judicial decisions in order to analyze whether autism-centric charter schools are a legally viable way to reduce ABA lawsuits. The researcher offers a thorough analysis of the litigation trends and concludes that autism-centric charter schools--despite their legal vulnerabilities--may be a legally feasible solution to decrease ABA litigation. The study also provides recommendations about how to amend policy and practice to so that the educational needs of students with autism are better addressed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act