The California Charter Schools Act of 1992, codified in Education Code §47600 et seq, established that schools may operate independently from the existing school district structure as a method to, among other things, improve pupil learning; increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are identified as academically low achieving; and encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods. The stated intent of the Legislature was that charter schools are and should become an integral part of the California educational system and that establishment of charter schools should be encouraged.
Charter School Status
There are two main types of charter school status, dependent and independent charters, and their status impacts how they provide for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for students with disabilities. Traditionally, a “dependent” charter school is treated as another school of the authorizing local educational agency (LEA), or school district, for all purposes. The authorizing district supports the charter school with service delivery for students at site, and the SELPA and authorizing district work together to oversee FAPE, provision of placement and services, and staffing.
Traditionally, an “independent” charter school is considered to be it's own local educational agency (district) for the purposes of providing special education. The school participates in SELPA governance; carries legal responsibility for special education and FAPE; receives, spends, and allocates special education funds; is responsible for its own state and federal compliance; and must ensure a continuum of placement and services for its students with disabilties.
Charter Schools within Butte County
California Charter Schools Association (CCSA)
California Department of Education Laws, Regulations, and Policy on Charter Schools
National Center for Special Education In Charter Schools