Ensuring that all special education programs and services are available to all students with disabilities is a key responsibility of school districts in Central New York. Most students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) attend school in their local district, while some may require support from a District 75 program or an accessible school building. The IEP team will evaluate the student to determine the best school environment for them to achieve their academic goals. If the student is already attending a charter school, the school district of residence is responsible for the compliance of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Article 89 of the Education Act.
According to Education Act § 2854 (d), students who attend charter schools must take state exams to the same extent as other public school students. In all CSE meetings involving charter school students, parents and the school district have the right to invite charter school staff who have special knowledge or experience related to the child. As a local education agency (LEA), the school district of residence is responsible for due process procedures related to evaluating, identifying, and providing free and appropriate public education to charter school students. District 75 provides specialized educational support to students with significant challenges in various settings and locations in New York City.
The school district of residence is also responsible for providing special transportation to students with disabilities who attend a charter school, provided that their IEP includes special transportation and the charter school requests it. An SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) is a New York State-certified special education teacher who works with preschool students with disabilities in academic, emotional, and social skills. Placement in specialized schools may be considered for students with intensive educational needs that cannot be met in public school programs. The CSE must ensure that students enrolled in a charter school receive a free and appropriate public education, and when developing an IEP, they must recommend special education programs and services that meet the individual needs of the student.
The CSE should consider the educational programs and services available in the charter school environment and adapt the IEP accordingly. The New York City Department of Education (DOE) is committed to creating inclusive preschool classrooms that prepare all children for kindergarten success. Under the Education Act (§ 2856) (and Part 119.1) of the Commissioner's Regulations, the school district of residence is required to pay federal and state aid attributable to a student with a disability to charter schools only in proportion to the level of services they provide directly or through contract with another provider.