Tracking the special education dollars that support services for students with disabilities attending public schools is complicated; attempting to track the funds to autonomous public charter schools is even more so. Understanding how dollars flow to charter schools requires consideration of multiple and overlapping federal, state, and local district formulas and policies.
A new publication released today by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools provides the reader with a clear and concise summary of special education funding by:
- describing how general and special education programs are funded in public schools;
- spotlighting how three states’ special education funding mechanisms apply to charter schools and affect their operations;
- identifying key questions charter schools, authorizers, and support organizations should ask when trying to understand the nuances of special education funding in their state; and
- offering a state-by-state summary of key laws and regulations that govern how special education is funded in the 43 states with charter school laws.
Our goal is to present a clear and succinct point-in-time description of how special education is funded in charter schools so that we can empower key stakeholders with information to inform their operational decisions and, if appropriate, seek policy changes to better support charter schools to develop quality special education programs.