Students with disabilities make up about 10.6 percent of the charter school population, compared with 12.5 percent of the population in traditional public schools—but the rate differs by the type of charter school, findsby the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools.
State charter laws determine whether a charter school operates completely independently of the local school district or if it is considered a part of the local district.
Those that operate independently of the local school systems enroll more students with disabilities—about 11.5 percent. Most charter schools in Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina fit into this category.
By comparison, charter schools considered part of a district’s overall portfolio of schools, such as most of those in California and Florida, had a smaller special education enrollment, about 9.7 percent.
A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 2018 edition of Education Week as Special Education