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date: 09 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

School choice is one of the primary education reforms currently sweeping the United States. School choice systems create unique challenges for students with disabilities and schools of choice in serving such students. While there are a variety of school choice systems, this chapter focuses on three types of school choice models—charter schools, portfolio school districts, and voucher programs—and the unique policy and legal challenges they present for students with disabilities. Specifically, this chapter examines the interplay of these school choice reforms with the United States laws regarding students with disabilities: the Individuals with Education in Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The challenges, barriers and problems are examined and solutions are proposed that consider both the laws regarding students with disabilities and the structures of the choice programs.

Keywords: Special education, students with disabilities, Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, IDEA, Section 504, ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, School choice, Charter schools, vouchers

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