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Special Education from the (Damp) Ground Up: Children with Disabilities in a Charter School-Dependent Educational System

Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, Vol. 11, p. 217, 2010

39 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2009 Last revised: 4 Aug 2010

Mark C. Weber

DePaul University College of Law

Date Written: October 12, 2009

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina created the need and the opportunity to reconstitute the New Orleans public school system. Educational reformers took advantage of the destruction of existing institutions to build a new system based on educational choice and dependent on charter schools to provide the choices. The disaster also created the need and opportunity to rebuild the system of special education in the city, but education for children with disabilities appears to have been an afterthought. Reports have surfaced of children being steered away from charter schools or inadequately served there. This paper asks what principles should guide reformers in establishing education for children with disabilities in a reconstructed school system committed to choice and charters. The principles include the following: (1) Guaranteeing that the general education system takes responsibility for all children; (2) Adequately supporting children with disabilities in general education; (3) Improving outcomes; (4) Providing equal opportunity for choice; (5) Assigning costs fairly; and (6) Protecting parents' and children's rights. This paper will discuss each principle in turn, considering its implications for policy and its legal ramifications.

Keywords: Education, Special Education, Disability, Civil Rights

JEL Classification: I20, I28, J78

Suggested Citation

Weber, Mark C., Special Education from the (Damp) Ground Up: Children with Disabilities in a Charter School-Dependent Educational System (October 12, 2009). Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, Vol. 11, p. 217, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1487667

Mark C. Weber (Contact Author)

DePaul University College of Law ( email )

25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL Cook County 60604-2287
United States
312-362-8808 (Phone)
312-362-5448 (Fax)

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