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Health Law

: Cerebral Palsy Law Blog

CO Charter Schools Under Scrutiny

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Charter schools throughout the Denver area are currently being scrutinized for the way they cater (or don't) to children with disabilities like cerebral palsy. In many other charter schools throughout the country, Cal Crum, 8, wouldn't be permitted to sit in a normal second-grade classroom setting, to lear about geometric shapes with peers developing at a faster pace than he is.
 
Cal, who is currently a student at Odyssey Charter School, was born with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is one amongst many severe disabilities that most charter schools claim require an ability and funding they don't have. Therefore, not only do many charter schools not cater to the special needs of children like Cal, but many don't even accept students with his condition.
 
Children with Cerebral Palsy Face Inequality

Cal is reportedly one of only two children living with a severe mental and physical disability among Denver Public Schools' 7,000 charter-school students, says a task force of officials from charters and DPS. Both of which are currently focused on changing this outrageous dynamic that exists within the district's autonomous schools.

"The current state of affairs is not acceptable," says Superintendent Tom Boasberg said. "We've been very strong and clear that all of our schools must offer equality of opportunity for all of our students, including any and all of our students with disabilities."

Each year the city of Denver opens more charter schools. District officials are working to change policies to ensure that all students, even those with disabilities area allowed access to charter schools.

"We need policies to ensure that equity," stated Boasberg.

According to reports, students with disabilities that are classified as "mild" or even "moderate" are typically encouraged to receive their education at center-based programs in district schools that can give them the support and care they need. These center-based schools have been specifically created to specialize in helping children with disabilities like cerebral palsy. However, no charter school in Denver has one of these center-based programs. But Boasberg and other district officials assure the parents of children like Cal, that policies already being changed to accommodate children with disabilities at all schools.

Full post as published by Cerebral Palsy Law Blog on October 27, 2009 (boomark / email).

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