Charter Schools

A girl sitting at a school desk looks up smiling at a teacher.
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.

First and foremost, charter schools are public, not private schools.  All schools, including charter schools, must comply with special education laws -- the IDEA, Section 504, the ADA, and the ADA Amendments Act -- and have affirmative duties to serve students with disabilities. Charter school status does not relieve these institutions of any special education obligations or treat them differently from traditional public schools for the purpose of compliance with the special education laws.
 
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 
 
 Charter School Name  Authorizer  Status  SELPA  Phone
 Achieve Charter School  Butte   Independent  El Dorado  (530) 872-4100
 Blue Oak Charter School  Chico  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 879-7483
 Chico Country Day School  Chico  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 895-2650
 Children's Community Charter School  Paradise  Dependent  Butte  (530) 877-2227
 Come Back Butte Charter School  Butte COE  Dependent  Butte  (530) 532-5827
 CORE Butte Charter School  Butte COE  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 894-3952
 Forest Ranch Charter School  Chico  Dependent  Butte  (530) 891-3154 
 Hearthstone School  Butte COE  Dependent  Butte  (530) 532-5848
 Home Tech Charter School  Paradise  Dependent  Butte  (530) 872-1171
 Inspire School of Arts and Sciences  Chico  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 891-3090
 Ipakanni Early College Charter  Oroville City  Dependent  Butte  (530) 532-1165
 Nord Charter School  Chico  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 891-3138
 Paradise Charter Middle School  Paradise  Dependent  Butte  (530) 872-7277
 Pivot Charter School, North Valley  Chico  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 636-4479
 Sherwood Montessori Charter School  Chico  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 345-6600
 STREAM Charter School  Oroville City  Independent  El Dorado  (530) 534-1633
 Wildflower Open Classroom  Chico  Dependent  Butte  (530) 892-1676

Links

Butte County SELPA Charter School Policy and Application

California Charter Schools Association (CCSA)
https://www.ccsa.org/what-we-do/special-education
http://www.ccsa.org/sections/library/#topics-special_education

California Department of Education Laws, Regulations, and Policy on Charter Schools
https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ch/lrp.asp

National Center for Special Education In Charter Schools
http://www.ncsecs.org/special-education-toolkit/