Are You Ready, Charterteers!

Read today in the LAT’s coverage of charter Locke High School that the special ed classes aren’t so hot. Good thing next year Locke operator Green Dot will be taking them over too. I’m sure the school will use state special ed funds wisely. Don’t want to have the same problems they’re experiencing in PA. Wouldn’t like to see special needs kids like my son not getting what they need because someone’s cooking the books:

Special education for charters is funded in a different way than for school districts. School districts pay a sizable portion of special-education expenses on their own. They get a state subsidy, calculated using overall student enrollment and adjusted for wealth. Typically, school districts spend more on special education than they receive in subsidies from the state.

Charters get a per-child payment for their special-education students based on the special-education costs of the districts where the children live.

(PA Governor) Rendell’s proposal addresses a funding quirk that state officials believe costs local school districts money while benefiting charter schools.

Local school districts by law provide a full array of special-education services, from those for mildly disabled students with reading problems to those for children with severe cognitive problems and autism. The most severely disabled are sent to special schools.

Many charters end up with special-education students who are less severely disabled than those in most school districts.

In those cases, where relatively high-cost school districts are funding typically lower-cost charter school special-education students, the possibility of subsidy windfalls exist.

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