CCSA Answers: Independent Study and Special Education

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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.

Find more reference materials, resources and templates in our online Charter School Resource Library. Still can't find what you need? Contact the CCSA Help Desk with your question.