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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not finding answers to my questions through google, so I thought *maybe* someone could answer me here


Does a public magnet school have the right to reject a student only because that student has an IEP and an educational diagnosis of Autism?

Chris is going to be in his 2nd year of Pre-K next year, he is in a full inclusion mainstream classroom with special education support. The kid is reading at the 2nd grade level and has mastered all of the academic kindergarten "readiness" skills. He is literally a sponge when it comes to facts and other such things. In school there are no concerns about aggressive behavior- there are safety concerns when it comes to wandering off and not responding to his name, etc, which are improving with time. He will be above grade level for kindergarten, the two requirements for this school is that students be at or above grade level and display "positive behavior" (the school starts in 1st grade- they apply kindergarten year, so he has about 18 months before the application process starts). It's a while off, but I am extremely concerned that the safeguards to protect IEP students from being discriminated against in schools will not apply to this magnet school, or any other selective enrollment school.

Thoughts? Does anyone know if there is something in ADA or IDEA to protect against that? He will, of course, need accommodations no matter what school he attends. I would imagine the services he receives then would be like he has now- periodic support of a SPED teacher, twice weekly ST, once weekly OT, and a FBA from a district autism specialist. None of these should preclude him from being eligible, right?

Gaw. I worry too much about this kid!
 

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Interesting question. My first reaction is that no, they can't use the IEP against him.

BUT, magnet schools well may have different resources. Some may not have the resources that the average neighborhood school would have. Just depends how it's set up in your district.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

-Angela
 

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Magnet and Charter schools are public schools and all of the IDEA laws apply to them just as much as a regular public school.

I used to work at a charter school, and they had the same special education funding as any other school in the district.
 

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A related question: My typically-developing daughter attends an alternative school in another school district as an interdistrict transfer. We will likely move our son, who has Aspergers, there in the fall. We have been told that he can not attend if he has an IEP because we are coming from out of district. Our home district just assessed him and basically laughed in our face and told us he doesn't qualify for any IEP services under autism because his symptoms at school are so mild.

Is it legal for the alternative school district to reject out-of-district kids with IEPs? I have been assuming they are right. Kids who live in that district can (and do) have IEPs.
 

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I've never heard of anything like this.

When you move to a new city/state/school, you take your current IEP with you and the district has X amount of time in which to convene an IEP meeting to determine LRE and the best way to provide services for his goals in the new setting. In the meantime, they are supposed to stick to the current IEP goals/services as closely as possible.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by christinelin View Post
A related question: My typically-developing daughter attends an alternative school in another school district as an interdistrict transfer. We will likely move our son, who has Aspergers, there in the fall. We have been told that he can not attend if he has an IEP because we are coming from out of district. Our home district just assessed him and basically laughed in our face and told us he doesn't qualify for any IEP services under autism because his symptoms at school are so mild.

Is it legal for the alternative school district to reject out-of-district kids with IEPs? I have been assuming they are right. Kids who live in that district can (and do) have IEPs.
This is just a guess, but if you reside in a different district than the school is in, there may be an issue with regard to which district is paying for the IEP services. (But it sounds kinda moot since your home district won't give him an IEP anyway?)

To the OP, our kids are in a public charter school and one of them has an IEP. The school accepts all students for whom they have room (there's a lottery). They are not allowed to discriminate. I don't know if "magnet" schools are different since some of them might admit based on some sort of testing or have other specific admissions criteria. But this sort of thing might vary by district, in the sense that some districts might require charter school students to go to another location for their services? Just another guess... In our charter school, the therapists service our school part- or full-time (I think some of them might service more than one school).

One of the teachers did tell me, at our recent IEP meeting, that there are very few special needs kids in our charter school - ironic for a montessori school since the method was basically designed originally for a special needs population - and it may be that generally people have the mistaken impression that they can't get services at charter schools. And/or, it may be that if they start out in the early childhood program for services, they are steered toward the regular schools and it never occurs to the parents to look into the charters. (In our district's early childhood special ed program, they rarely offer services outside of special ed preschool itself, wile most of the kids in our charter school start in preschool.) We have quite a lot of charters in our district, and our school has been around more than a decade. But prior to the start of K I had my son evaluated to get an IEP in place (so that it would be up and running as soon as K started) and the early childhood special ed team, who deals with kids prior to K, was wholly unfamiliar with the school.

I also feel like I read somewhere that in some states/districts, the charter schools must pay for the IEP services out of their (more limited) budgets rather than out of the district special ed budget (though I don't think that's the case with our district).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies!!!

Hopefully this means they will not take his disability into account when considering his admission, or at least not in a negative way. I know some publicly funded arts programs I was in during my teen years would have to accept at least 10% students with disabilities, so maybe his disability could actually help him? Who knows.

I know that if he was in need of a higher level of services, such as a self-contained or cotaught classroom, they could reject him because they would be unable to meet that level of services. Same as neighborhood schools regularly transfer students to the "school within a school" program at another school (ie: one school will have the autistic students, one school will have the deaf/hard of hearing students, one school with have the moderate to severely cognitively disabled students, etc, to help pool resources)

This is a magnet school, not a charter school, and located less than a mile from a neighborhood school. I just wish I could be confident that no matter what school he attended he would get a good quality education
.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Labyrinth View Post
Thoughts? Does anyone know if there is something in ADA or IDEA to protect against that? He will, of course, need accommodations no matter what school he attends. I would imagine the services he receives then would be like he has now- periodic support of a SPED teacher, twice weekly ST, once weekly OT, and a FBA from a district autism specialist. None of these should preclude him from being eligible, right?

Gaw. I worry too much about this kid!
I havne't worked in special education in about 8 years, so take this with a grain of salt.

If they don't provide the services regularly, they probably don't have to provide them just for your ds. So if their is no speech therapist on staff, they don't have to hire one just so he can attend. Even if their is a speech therapist at another school close by, she might not be able to work him into her schedule (even if the schools are next door it would take at least 5 minutes to walk each way, so it would add 10 minutes onto her schedule she may not have).

If you are willing to give up the speech / OT services they might have to take him, but that is a choice you can make. I once had a student who was in a magnet school and got speech, he went to his local neighborhood school for the speech and had the first appointment and then his mother brought him to the magnet school. So they can work with it, it's just if they choose to.

Have you called the school and asked what services they provide?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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Originally Posted by RachelEve14 View Post
If they don't provide the services regularly, they probably don't have to provide them just for your ds. So if their is no speech therapist on staff, they don't have to hire one just so he can attend. Even if their is a speech therapist at another school close by, she might not be able to work him into her schedule (even if the schools are next door it would take at least 5 minutes to walk each way, so it would add 10 minutes onto her schedule she may not have).
My question wasn't really if they would provide him services if accepted- I know they would be mandated to provide him services if he was accepted in my state. The private school down the street even is entitled to that. My question is if they could refuse to accept him because of his disability. If IDEA only protects him at his neighborhood school then they probably could assuming my state has no other safeguards. If IDEA protects him at any publicly funded school then they cannot. The only exception would be if he was not mainstreamed, in which case his home school would not even have to provide him with services in house.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Labyrinth View Post
My question wasn't really if they would provide him services if accepted- I know they would be mandated to provide him services if he was accepted in my state. The private school down the street even is entitled to that. My question is if they could refuse to accept him because of his disability. If IDEA only protects him at his neighborhood school then they probably could assuming my state has no other safeguards. If IDEA protects him at any publicly funded school then they cannot. The only exception would be if he was not mainstreamed, in which case his home school would not even have to provide him with services in house.
They have to provide him services in the least restrictive environment, but they do not have to accept him to whatever school you prefer. The district has to provide him services *somewhere* in the least restrictive environment, but they do not have to provide him services at whatever charter or magnet school you prefer. So if he is going into a regular education 1st grade class (LRE) and he is entitled to speech, he has to get it. But the district can say "speech will be provided in school A" If you prefer to put him in school B, the district does not have to pay extra $$ to supply every service, you are making a choice. (this may depend on the state). Sometimes certain services are only provided in certain schools, the same way their might only be one blind class in teh district, or one school that offers mainstreamed LD classes with an extra teacher. The parent then has to decide what is more important and place the child accordingly. The child would still get accommodation, but may not get the same type / level of services tehy would get at a more specialized setting.
 
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