Do charter schools offer services to special-needs kids?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Education Law |

Readers of this blog know that we focus on education law. And, one common topic is the difference between private and public schools. Indeed, it was the topic of a recent post on whether students at private schools qualify for equitable services. Naturally, the next question is whether these same students qualify for services at charter schools.

Charter schools vs. private schools

Charter schools are not private schools. In fact, they are more akin to a public school. They are publicly funded, considered public schools, follow much of the same requirements, but they are run independently. Conversely, private schools do not have the same requirements as public schools, do not receive public funding and they are run by private individuals or organizations.

Do charter schools offer services to special-needs kids?

This means that charter schools have the same Independent Education Plan requirements as traditional public schools. As such, as the governor pushes for more charter schools, each must still provide specialized services for special-needs kids.

Some charter schools specialize in IEPs

According to some charter proponents, some New York charter schools specialize in special-needs students and IEPs. For example, the executive director of the Bridge Preparatory Charter School on Staten Island claims they specialize in children with dyslexia and other language-based disabilities. As a result, 64% of their students have an IEP. Both the New York City Autism Charter School and Neighborhood Charter School each have Autism Spectrum Disorders programs.

IEPs at both

Proponents of charter schools claim that these specialized schools can focus on students who need IEPs much better than public schools. However, whether that is true is really a school-by-school and charter-by-charter analysis. What is true is that wherever you choose to place your child, both charter and public schools must provide IEP services to your Cedarhurst, New York, special-needs child.