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Kicking my kindergartener out? - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
I know laws may vary state to state, but in the process we went through, it was made very clear that a charter school must use the same standards as public schools in admitting kid
This is not true where I live. Charter schools do not need to accept special needs kids that they cannot accommodate.

Children are entitled to a free an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible, but there isn't legal protection to provide it at the parent's choice of schools.

The OPer could search for an Educational Consultant where she lives to help navigate the legal situation.

Did the school give you anything in writing? I find it odd that there hasn't been any process or documentation, just a phone call.
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsc View Post
Can I take him to school on Tuesday? I don't want a scene where they ask us to leave, because it would be very upsetting for my son.

I'm planning on faxing a letter to request a new IEP meeting to the director of special ed, and filing a discrimination complaint against the principal. Or should I write a letter to request due a due process hearing? What's the best way to track down a lawyer who could advise me in this situation?

Thanks again for all the support!
I believe mediation comes before a due process hearing.

Well, you could try taking him to the classroom and then going to the principle separately and tell him that since your ds is already enrolled you expect he will have his due process to determine whether the school is an appropriate place for him. Even if the law is on his side I expect that something more than a phone call is required to remove him from the school, even if it is form XYZ-12. I'd also see if you could get that psychologist that verbally ok'd this charter school to write a statement to that effect; though it may not have any legal weight since is not formally a part of the IEP and I don't know if you can just tack it on without a meeting of the IEP team.

Some of the links I gave you may point you in the right direction as far as a lawyer goes. The bottom two links are for special ed advocates; if neither are in your area they should still give you an idea of what you are looking for.

Parents' Rights - Quality Assurance Process (CA Dept of Education)Special Education Due - A Guide for CA Parents: Special Education ...

(San Francisco) Protection & Advocacy Inc. - Publications - Developmental ...

(Placentia) CA IEP Attorney | California Child Lawyer | Orange ...
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
This is not true where I live. Charter schools do not need to accept special needs kids that they cannot accommodate.

Children are entitled to a free an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible, but there isn't legal protection to provide it at the parent's choice of schools.
Forgive me. I am not trying to be argumentative. I am just trying to understand. Obviously you are the best expert on the laws where you live, not me. This is just really confusing to me based on the information I got when I was working on starting the charter school.

Aren't those charter schools receiving federal funds? Charter schools are public schools, and if they receive federal funds then that money is conditional on anti-discrimination.

No child is entitled to the parent's choice of schools except if they meet the admission requirement...things like zip code and waiting list...but those conditions *have* to be the same for all children, as I understood it. In a public charter school, you can't make the requirement of admission for one child different than the requirement for admission from another child.

Unless the term "charter school" is being used differently in different states. Where I am, charter schools are absolutely public schools (they essentially are treated as districts unto themselves, now that I think about it...but they have to meet the laws of all other districts, including IDEA laws): http://www.masscharterschools.org/schools/index.html.

I really think different things must be called "charters" in different states.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Well, you could try taking him to the classroom and then going to the principle separately and tell him that since your ds is already enrolled you expect he will have his due process to determine whether the school is an appropriate place for him. Even if the law is on his side I expect that something more than a phone call is required to remove him from the school, even if it is form XYZ-12. I'd also see if you could get that psychologist that verbally ok'd this charter school to write a statement to that effect; though it may not have any legal weight since is not formally a part of the IEP and I don't know if you can just tack it on without a meeting of the IEP team.
This sounds like solid advice. I feel so badly you are in this position, especially in the position of trying to figure out whether you should take him on Tuesday. It's too bad you probably won't be able to get the legal consult before then. Urgh.
post #25 of 37
For what it is worth, the California Charter Schools Association says on its website that:

Quote:
Charter schools:
  • Are public schools
  • Are tuition-free
  • Participate in state tests
  • Employ credentialed teachers
  • Admit all students
(Emphasis mine) Here is the website: http://www.calcharters.org/understanding/. Click on FAQs and check this out:

Quote:
Can charter schools have admission requirements based on academic performance or other selection criteria?

No. Charter schools must admit all students who apply - if there is excess demand for the number of seats available, the school must conduct a lottery to determine who will be enrolled.
The child has already been enrolled according to position in the lottery (waitlist). Clearly, anything they do from that point in terms of enrollment is of significant legal questionability.

I'd probably find the laws and stuff like this, print it out, and highlight the applicable laws when you go in on Tuesday, if you are going in.
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
This is not true where I live. Charter schools do not need to accept special needs kids that they cannot accommodate.

Children are entitled to a free an appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible, but there isn't legal protection to provide it at the parent's choice of schools.

The OPer could search for an Educational Consultant where she lives to help navigate the legal situation.

Did the school give you anything in writing? I find it odd that there hasn't been any process or documentation, just a phone call.
The area we were in it was like this. I interviewed for a few charters and asked them about the Spec.Ed procedures/set ups.

Like public schools, they had to offer Spec.Ed services and could not 'turn away' students.

BUT- like public schools- they could state that they did not have the services to offer them and refer them back to the home district for services (such as a deaf student needed a signing classroom, a student with severe impairments needing a self-contained classroom, a student with a severe behavior disorder that needed a therapudic setting, etc). It would have to be an extreme situation and one that many districts have trouble with. Often students with unique or needs that could only be meet in a specialized setting could be sent to a private or public run classroom/school specific to those needs. Public schools do this and charters did as well. Of course, the home district picked up the cost of these classrooms or even multiple districts pooled together to have a single classroom to meet the needs of specific students ( our county had several county run ASD classrooms and also had specific classrooms geared toward medically fragile kids, etc).

The Charters in our old area actually had a HIGHER percentage of Spec.Ed students per general population- but that population was very transient and the numbers fluctuated wildly throughout the year. It was mostly a population of students that had LD/EI difficulties. The students with EI (emotional impairments) were the most transient of them all and often were referred back to the self-contained classrooms in home districts. That said, we had many many charters in our area for whatever reason- so there were a lot of different styles/options to try--which resulted in many students shifting around until they found one that met their needs ( or did not).

When we looked into moving into a different state, they had privatized their care for students that had emotional disorders and/or ASD.

So different approaches for different areas- but students were offered a free appropriate education.

I would think that if the IEP is written for a preschool classroom, that is where he can legally be placed- though it is not right and stinks of discrimination.... it may be legal, depending on how the IEP is written. If it would have said K classroom, they would have been legally required to follow the IEP with mediation/due process if there was a disagreement.

I would request an IEP and have portions rewritten, especially in light of his growth over the summer.

Make sure you have things in writing, a verbal agreement will not hold up legally. Was there a note/mention in the IEP about the Charter School? If so , that may also carry some weight.
post #27 of 37
Whatever the laws actually say, in practice, charter schools enroll a far lower percentage of students with disabilities than their traditional public school counterparts, and are generally started and run by people with insufficient knowledge of their special education requirements. (Even the very conservative Mackinac Center agrees this is true).

There's a really great resource on this subject here:
http://www.uscharterschools.org/cs/s...spedp/home.htm

It was put together in response to a 2001 study that found problems with charter's provision of special education services.

One issue, as an above poster said, is in how the charter is set up - whether it is a member of a LEA, whther it is its own LEA, or whether it joins an LEA that is geographically distant or spread out over an entire state. In addition, different states handle the provision of special education money to charters in different ways. But yes, depending on how its set up, a school can say they are unable to provide necessary services and refer a student to the larger educational entity that sets up special services.

In my town, for example, there is a new charter school, but its special education plan is for the traditional public school to provide any special education services. Since it is an "experience" type school, in practice this would mean that any charter student who needed services would be shipped back to the regular school for the services and would miss out on most of the experiences that the charter was designed to create.

Also, in my state, any children in need of a contained classroom would pretty much automatically be placed in a district-run school by the Committee on Special Education, and the charters are not required to have contained classrooms at all.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KCMichigan View Post
I would think that if the IEP is written for a preschool classroom, that is where he can legally be placed
Again, I am no expert, so I could be totally off base. I'm just trying to understand. I think the IEP placement basically says where the services will be provided. But that doesn't mean a parent can't place elsewhere. People change enrollments in schools for all kinds of reasons. The IEP doesn't legally restrict the parent from any other placement, as I understand it only because I've done that with my son...gone with a placement other than the one listed on his IEP (so then the team had to meet again to figure out a new plan for service provision, but they couldn't take away my right to place my son as I understood it or force me to withdraw my son).

But clearly, a legal consult is so necessary in this case. The more I read the less I think I understand.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
Again, I am no expert, so I could be totally off base. I'm just trying to understand. I think the IEP placement basically says where the services will be provided. But that doesn't mean a parent can't place elsewhere. People change enrollments in schools for all kinds of reasons. The IEP doesn't legally restrict the parent from any other placement, as I understand it only because I've done that with my son...gone with a placement other than the one listed on his IEP (so then the team had to meet again to figure out a new plan for service provision, but they couldn't take away my right to place my son as I understood it or force me to withdraw my son).

But clearly, a legal consult is so necessary in this case. The more I read the less I think I understand.

The IEP does state where placement/services will be provided. In order to 'change' anything if a location is stated, an IEP should be held and rewritten.

It does not 'restrict' a placement, but if the original IEP states that a students was to be placed in a self-contained class or a Preschool setting, then that is 'legally' what the IEP team has to do to meet the requirements of the IEP.

The team or parents can choose another location, but technically then if it impacts services (which it most likely would) then the IEP should be rewritten. It is a simple process if all parties agree on a new placement/location (which 99% of the time everyone agrees or alllows the parent to choose)---though in the OP it sounds like the school and the family involved do not agree. Then the parent can still place a student potentially, but he/she may not get services and/or the school can restrict access to programs if they feel they can not meet the students needs in that placement and offer another 'least restrictive environment' and free appropriate education.

A move from one public school to another public school is different than a public to charter or public to private, etc. Even public schools can choose not to take a students if it is not their 'home' school/district. We have dealt with this in our area. We wanted my DD to attend one school, but they would not take her since they were not our 'home district'. Only our home school is required by law to provide services. That is not stating that another district wont/cant take students from outside of their boundries (an area I taught in took in a lot of students from outside of the area- it was called School of Choice or Open Enrollment-, but they do get the right to refuse students not within their district/school.They also capped how many students (less than 10% of each grade could come from out of district). Area handle this all differently. Some areas it is easy to move from one school district to another and others it is difficult to even move from school to school within the same school district.

The fact that it is a charter school also changes things up. The 'home district' is required by law to provide a free appropriate education and services.

The OP should request mediation & due process if she feels that that the school and her ideas are not agreeing on placement/services.


The fact that the IEP is written for a preschool setting does allow some legal leeway for the charter school to decide they can not meet that students needs (much like the public school could send a student to another building in the district for a specific program if that school does not offer it).
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
Charter schools are public schools, and if they receive federal funds then that money is conditional on anti-discrimination.
no.

Even a local public school doesn't have to admit and educate a child if they cannot provide services for them, but they do have to find a placement for the child and pay for it.

For example, imagine a child with profound autism in a small, rural school district. The district doesn't' have an autism only classroom, therapists, etc. Nothing at all for the child. The best placement might be in a near by town with an autism classroom. The local school doesn't have to accept the child as a student, but they do have to pay for the child's education.

Special needs children are diverse and some of them require intensive specialized services. Not every school can meet every child's needs.

The federal law guarantees a "free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible." They don't say that parent can decide where that happens, or that every school must find a way to meet the needs of every student.

Schools draw lines about what kind of students they can and cannot educate. Larger districts have special schools set aside, and decent sized cities have private schools that are mostly funded through tax dollars that follow the children with the most intense needs.

The local school has the obligation to the child, but the charter doesn't.

The gray area is children whose needs are such that a charter *could* meet them if they put their heart into it, but many charters like to brag about their test scores so they aren't crazy about kids who require a lot of resources but aren't going to test well.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
Welcome to charter schools and the privatization of the public school system. This is often how charters keep their statistics looking so good compared to traditional publics. Even if the law says otherwise re: disabilities.
Just so you know, this may be true in some areas, in other areas it is not. Where I live (and work in a charter school), charter schools have to take any child that comes through their door, or to use a completely random lottery if they have more applicants than slots. For us to exclude a child with a disability, they either need to commit the same kind of act that would result in expulsion from a public school (e.g. bringing a gun to school, or dealing drugs on campus) OR we need to demonstrate that this child's needs can only be met in a setting that is 100% special ed, not a self-contained classroom, but a self-contained school. Other than that, we are obligated to provide any services that the child needs.

Some charter schools do far better than the regular public schools on providing services, and some don't. Those that do right by their children with special needs often have a much higher percentage of children with IEPs than the regular public schools.
post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momily View Post
Just so you know, this may be true in some areas, in other areas it is not. Where I live (and work in a charter school), charter schools have to take any child that comes through their door, or to use a completely random lottery if they have more applicants than slots. For us to exclude a child with a disability, they either need to commit the same kind of act that would result in expulsion from a public school (e.g. bringing a gun to school, or dealing drugs on campus) OR we need to demonstrate that this child's needs can only be met in a setting that is 100% special ed, not a self-contained classroom, but a self-contained school. Other than that, we are obligated to provide any services that the child needs.

Some charter schools do far better than the regular public schools on providing services, and some don't. Those that do right by their children with special needs often have a much higher percentage of children with IEPs than the regular public schools.
We also have "home schools" in my area; no open enrollment. My charter school states on it's website that "we welcome all students who meet state age and health requirements" and is supposed to "choose" students through open lottery; there isn't even sibling preference. I think I mentioned before that the special ed services at this school are superior to ds last school; we didn't know that when we chose it but that ds' regular public school seemed clueless is part of why we did not send ds back to that school.

It seems that the accommodations the OP's ds might need are small and should be well within the ability of the school to provide (my son's teacher knows that ds is better placed in the middle of a line, that he likes to stand a bit a part of the group in class and needs a logical explanation/reminder of rules and consequences--not big things), especially with a teacher that is able, willing, and thinks that her ds is doing well. It seems that her school is trying to boot him on the basis of the IEP and not his current abilities. I can REALLY sympathize with that as ds behavior in school has done a 180 since the end of K last year (where he was suspended a couple days the last week of school); I'd hate for ds to be judged on that.

Hopefully the expulsion can be suspended pending a new IEP evaluation.
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 
I have submitted the letter to request the IEP review, and now I just have to wait the up to thirty days for the meeting to be scheduled. The school will not let me bring him back, so I guess that I should just keep him home for now.

I will update if I find out something new. I believe that he would be fine with minor accommodations for his OT and APE. And maybe an extra reminder to stay on task, line up, etc.
post #34 of 37
I don't think they can refuse you to come back! (That sentence did not make sense, I'm a teacher and today was Day 1 so I'm a bit tired!)... But you "remain in" your current placement while IEP issues are worked out.

Though since your IEP says another school, that may complicate things.
post #35 of 37
Thread Starter 
I have tried to enroll my son in the local public school, rather than the charter, and I am supposed to hear on Monday if they have space for him and can admit him. Apparently, since I did the open enrollment process they might not be allowed to admit him. If a parent elects to do open enrollment, the student is expected to attend the other school for 1 year.

The charter will not take him back at all, and the local school might not take him either. This is such a mess and I am beyond frustrated!
post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbsc View Post
I have tried to enroll my son in the local public school, rather than the charter, and I am supposed to hear on Monday if they have space for him and can admit him. Apparently, since I did the open enrollment process they might not be allowed to admit him. If a parent elects to do open enrollment, the student is expected to attend the other school for 1 year.

The charter will not take him back at all, and the local school might not take him either. This is such a mess and I am beyond frustrated!
That seems strange. Is Kindegarten not required where you are? If it is required, I would think they have to take him in the public school. It would be like telling someone who moved in after the school year began they couldn't go to school. But, since some places are no longer making K required, then they can refuse to admit your son. It's just not right.
post #37 of 37
They can not not enroll you. Call the head of sped services and calmly let him or her know that one the staff (the psyc) Rec a charter school but the cmte wrote IEP for self contained ? Services and no school is allowing you to enroll so you will be due compensatory services/payment for all the hours missed.
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