Nov 04
Cover of Journal of School Choice

A “can-do” Attitude for Students with Disabilities: Special Education in Rural Charter Schools

Charter schools are often the only alternative to traditional public schools for students with disabilities in rural communities. The Center’s Data Specialist, Shaini Kothari, recently worked with Lanya McKittrick, Sean Gill, Alice Opalka, and Sivan Tuchman to coauthor a paper published in the Journal of School Choice that examines the challenges and opportunities these rural schools face.

Working as part of a larger research study, the paper’s research team employed a qualitative multiple case study design to examine special education practices in five rural charter schools to understand the services provided, barriers to providing these services, and any novel practices used to provide these services. Data analysis revealed the following themes: (a) intentional school models facilitated individualized approaches, (b) schools responded to tight labor supply by prioritizing retention and making efficient use of staff time, and (c) schools demonstrate flexibility and willingness to problem solve.

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