Qualified Special Education Service Providers

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June 18, 2014 Central to the charter school movement is the promise of innovative and effective learning environments designed to meet the needs of all students, including those with disabilities. In accordance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), charter schools that serve as their own local education agency ("LEA") for special education purposes assume full responsibility for providing quality and compliant special education services, and bear the full cost of providing these services.

Additionally, many charter schools that depend on their districts for special education services seek to supplement those services with additional service contracts to ensure quality, timeliness, compliance, and reasonable costs. Students with disabilities are increasingly looking to charter schools to uphold the intent of the IDEA and "individualize" their educational plans.

Charter schools need access to a full continuum of services that will meet their students' unique needs, while avoiding exorbitant costs. CCSA seeks to facilitate this access by providing its members with a list of qualified special education service providers that meet the CCSA selection criteria.

To be added to the Qualified Special Education Service Providers List, organizations submit an RFA and undergo a rigorous review process to determine if they meet the CCSA minimum qualifications. Approval through the RFA process entitles a provider to be placed on the CCSA list of qualified service providers and assures charter schools that the provider has met the selection criteria by providing evidence of the following:

  • Sufficient organizational infrastructure to support service delivery
  • Managerial capacity for program supervision and control of quality
  • Necessary staff qualifications and training
  • Research-based service delivery model and evidence of effectiveness
  • Financial capacity and insurance
  • Competitive fees

Learn more about criteria for approval and the RFA process.