Public charter schools are public schools of choice that operate with freedom from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. While many regulations can be waived, it is important to understand that no provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) can be waived and that all teachers providing special education services must be appropriately licensed. All public charter schools must comply with all regulations under the IDEA. Children with disabilities who attend public charter schools, and their parents retain all rights under the IDEA. The charter establishing each such school is a performance contract detailing the school's mission, program, goals, students served, and methods of assessment.
There are two types of public charter schools operating in Arkansas: open-enrollment charter schools and district conversion charter schools. Both types are responsible for the implementation of all special education services as written in the Individualized Education Program (IEP), as well as the provision of procedural safeguards and Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE}. Children with disabilities who attend public charter schools, and their parents retain all rights under the IDEA.
For more information about public charter schools, please visit the Charter Schools webpage.