So much for charter schools taking disabled kids.

From Scathing Purple Musings, by Bob Sykes

Writes Chris Staiti for Bloomberg News:

U.S. charter schools must provide
special-education services and avoid discrimination in admissions,
academic services and athletics whether or not they receive federal
funding, the Education Department said today.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter, the department’s Office for Civil Rights reminded
charter school operators of their obligations under federal civil
rights laws. Charter schools, which are privately run public schools,
are barred from discriminating on the basis of race, sex, national
origin or disability.
“Federal civil rights laws, regulations and
guidance that apply to charter schools are the same as those that apply
to other public schools,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine
Lhamon said in the letter. The department “is committed to supporting
the establishment of high-quality public charter schools from which all
students can benefit.”
Charter schools have come under criticism for
shunning special-needs students because of costs that can strain even
the best-financed public school systems. Only 8 percent of students
enrolled in charter schools have disabilities, compared with 11 percent
in public schools, the Government Accounting Office said in a 2012 report.
Charter schools must also provide services for
non-English speakers and establish non-discriminatory policies for
discipline, Lhamon said in the letter. The department also provided
guidance on racial diversity in admissions.
Scathing Purple Musings reported on the GAO study in 2012. State Impact and the Miami Herald found in 2011 that 86 percent of Florida charter schools do not serve special needs schools.

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