The 74, June 28, 2019, by Beth Hawkins
When it comes to living up to their obligation to serve students with disabilities, public charter schools face a host of challenges. In addition to the perennial headache of underfunding, there are bureaucratic constraints, a woeful lack of teacher preparation in special education and difficulty finding and tapping expertise.
None of which comes as a surprise to parents of children with disabilities, who, like it or not, get a crash course on navigating the same series of hurdles — sometimes while advocating for their kids in the same charter schools that are struggling to figure out how best to serve them.
Chocolate, meet peanut butter.
After program officers at the Walton Family Foundation realized they were hearing essentially the same story in one community after another, they commissioned the education consulting firm Public Impact to examine possible synergies between the two groups. The result: Better Together: Why Charter School Champions and Parent Advocates Should Partner to Better Support Students with Disabilities.
The research and findings will be the topic of a panel to be held at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ annual conference, which takes place June 30 to July 3. Daniela Doyle, Public Impact’s vice president for charter excellence, will be one of the speakers.