Charter schools authorized by the Los Angeles Unified School District are an enrollment option for all students, including students with disabilities. The California Charter Schools Act of 1992, Education Code Section 47605(d)(1) states that a charter school ”… shall not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of characteristics listed in Section 220” of the California Education Code which includes discrimination on the basis of disability. Within its capacity, a charter school is required to admit all students who wish to attend the school.
Charter schools must serve the needs of students with disabilities as required by the student’s individualized education program (IEP) in the same manner as District-operated schools. This includes providing programs such as special day and resource specialist programs as well as all related services described in the law including, but not limited to, speech and language, counseling, occupational therapy, behavioral support, physical therapy, adapted physical education, and transportation.
Charter schools should include information on special education programs and services offered at their school in their outreach and recruitment materials. Parents should also expect that annual meetings will take place to inform parents that the charter school is open to enroll and provides services for ALL students. Be aware that parents must complete and submit an application for an independent charter school in order to begin the enrollment process. The charter school will also ensure that no student, otherwise eligible to enroll in their charter school, will be denied enrollment on the basis of their special education status.
Charter schools are required to provide intensive training or professional development to their staff about serving students with disabilities. All District trainings are available to charter school staff. Any District training/meeting for parents is always open to parents of students enrolled in LAUSD charter schools. The Division of Special Education, Charter Operated Programs team provides support to charter schools to help them develop high-quality special education programs that serve students with mild to severe disabilities. Charters must offer a continuum of services and a full array of related services to meet the needs of any students attending the charter school.
Information about current and scheduled charter schools is available and regularly updated on the Charter Schools Division website.
If you have a particular issue related to the implementation of special education services at your child’s Charter School, please contact CharterOperatedPrograms@lausd.net.