CCSA Answers: Independent Study and Special Education
December 6, 2013
Question: I am developing an Independent Study charter school. Can special education students be accepted into my program?
Answer: It is important to look at the state and federal law that governs special education within a charter school in California to determine who is responsible for the delivery of services. The intent of the language is to ensure that services be "individualized." If a student with special needs enrolls in a nonclassroom-based program, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must evaluate the needs and develop a plan to ensure that the student is offered a Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) that is designed to meet their needs.
We do not recommend a stance of "we don't offer that service here" Like all charter schools, independent study charter schools are public schools that are open to all students who may choose to enroll - including those with special needs. Because public schools, including charters, may not deny admission based on disability, charter schools operating non-classroom-based or independently study programs must accept students with special needs who enroll or are admitted through the lottery.
Read the Non-Classroom-Based Charter Schools and Special Education FAQs to learn more.