Topic Areas: Charter School, Free Appropriate Public Education
Know Your Rights in Charter SchoolsPDF
Know Your Rights in Charter Schools
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION OFFICE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS OFFICE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION AND REHABILITATIVE SERVICES *Formatting change s made on January 13, 2017 Page 1 of 2 Know Your Rights: Students with Disabilities in Charter Schools This document is designed to help parents, students, and the charter school community better understand the rights of students with disabilities under Federal disability-related laws. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) , which the Office for Civil Rights enforces , prohibi ts disability -based discrimination. T he Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) , administered by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, provides Federal funds to States, and through them, local educational agencies , to assist in providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. Section 504 • Charter school students with disabilities (and those seeking to attend) have the same Section 504 rights as other public school students with disabilities. Among other things, these rights include : a free appropriate public education (FAPE), which under Section 504 is regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the individual educational needs of a student with a disability as adequately as the n eeds of nondisabled students are met; equal treatment and nondiscrimination in nonacademic and extracurricular activities such as counseling services and sports ; and accessibility (such as entrance ramps for people who use wheelchairs). • Section 504 requires c harter schools to conduct any recruitment activities and provide the opportunity to appl y to a charter school on an equal basis . • Section 504 FAPE requirements for placements are separate from requirements related to admission procedures. Section 504 provides that a charter school’s admission criteria may not exclude or discriminate against individuals on the basis of disability , and that a school may not discriminate in its admissions process. D uring the admissions process, a charter school generally may not ask a prospective student if he or she has a disability . Limited exceptions includ e that, if a school is chartered to serve students with a specific disability , the school may ask prospective students if they have that disability. When a student with a disability is admitted to and enrolls in a charter school, the student is entitled to FAPE under Section 504. A fter enrollment, a charter school may ask if a student has a disability , which includes, e.g., whether a student has an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. • A charter school may not counsel out, i.e. , try to convince a student (or parents) that the student should not attend (or continue to attend) the s chool because the student has a disability.
This document is designed to help parents, students, and the charter school community better understand the rights of students with disabilities under Federal disability-related laws.
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Last modified on October 24, 2023