The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (“DESE”) recently released an advisory concerning the responsibilities of charter schools to special education students. Although charter schools have been a feature of the Massachusetts school landscape for over twenty years, there are still misunderstandings about charter schools’ obligations to their students who require special education. The DESE advisory addresses some of these issues. It focuses on a Massachusetts special education regulation found at 603 CMR 28.10(6)(a), which covers the responsibilities of the charter school and the student’s public school district (“district of residence”) in the event that a student with special needs may need to leave the charter school in order to obtain an appropriate education. (This regulation also covers special education students who attend vocational schools, Commonwealth of Massachusetts virtual schools, and schools attended through the METCO program. However, the advisory targets charter schools specifically.) Continue reading
Tag Archives: IEP
Don’t Get Taken for (too long) a Ride; Watch Out for Silent Waivers in an IEP!
Parents should keep an eye out for language in their IEPs that might have them unwittingly signing away the right to limit the duration of their child’s transportation to and from a placement to an hour or less each way. Massachusetts special education regulations provide, at 603 C.M.R. §28.06 (8)(a):
The district shall not permit any eligible student to be transported in a manner that requires the student to remain in the vehicle for more than one hour each way except with the approval of the Team. The Team shall document such determination on the IEP. Continue reading
U.S. Department of Education Issues Guidance Regarding Bullying of Students with Disabilities
On August 20, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (“OSERS”) issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that explains, in clear and unequivocal language, school districts’ responsibilities to prevent and address bullying of students with disabilities. Continue reading