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Are charter schools required to follow IDEA?


Federal law requires any school receiving public dollars to provide students with disabilities educational choices comparable to those offered to non-disabled students. Charter schools cannot discriminate against students with disabilities.

However, it is important to determine whether your charter school receives federal funding. In determining whether a charter school is subject to the IDEA and Section 504, it is important to find out whether the charter school is a public school of the local education agency (LEA) or not. If the charter school is a public school of the LEA, and most are, then they are REQUIRED to follow the federal law and provide children with FAPE and follow the regulations under IDEA. You can usually find out if the charter school is a public school of the LEA or not by asking the charter school for its memorandum between either the state or the local school district.

Unfortunately, many parents experience charter schools telling them that they do not have to follow federal and do not write IEP's or 504 plans. This is not true. Please contact us at (317) 569-2200 if you are having trouble with your child's charter school. It is so important parents are advocates for their children and that they reach out to get their children the education that they deserve.

More details about charter school obligations to students with disabilities are available online at

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