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Protecting the rights of students with disabilities in charter school enrollment – what schools and authorizers need to know
In mid-August, the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened investigations into 22 authorizers and 29 charter schools related to discriminatory practices against students with disabilities in the enrollment process. What were these complaints? Why were they filed? What needs to be fixed?
In October, the CDE Schools of Choice Unit hosted a presentation entitled 'Protecting the rights of students with disabilities in charter school enrollment – what schools and authorizers need to know'. Participants learned about the concerns raised that led to the investigation by the Office of Civil Rights, what actions are being taken to address the concerns brought forward, and what schools and authorizers can do to ensure that the rights of students with disabilities are protected in the charter school enrollment process.
Bill Kottenstette, Executive Director, CDE Schools of Choice Unit, Joe Peters, Assistant Attorney General, Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Paul Foster, Executive Director of CDE’s Office of Special Education, Alex Medler, Executive Director of Colorado Association of Charter School Authorizers (CACSA), and Kaci Coats, Director of Exceptional School Services, Colorado League of Charter Schools shared expertise and resources.
The recording and Power Point for that presentation can be found here.
Resources from CACSA and the CEE
Video modeling language for staff with inclusive language to address questions around enrollment
FAQ and talking points for charter and district staff on inclusive language
Presentation deck on Inclusive Language
Website checklist and model language
OCR Guidance on 504/Idea, (see pp. 20-24)
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