The National CMO Special Education Network

Elevating and Empowering Special Education Leaders

Facilitate and deliver technical assistance and robust professional development opportunities

Stimulate increased networking opportunities for special education personnel and school leaders to collaborate, share resources, and cultivate thought leadership

Curate and disseminate tools and resources developed by schools and education experts

The Center’s National CMO Special Education Network (‘CMO Network’) empowers charter school networks to create, implement, and share promising practices for improving outcomes for all students with disabilities and specifically students with low-incidence disabilities. The CMO Network focuses on documenting and disseminating evidenced-base solutions, developing cross-organization collaboration, and incubating innovative approaches to addressing pressing special education systems and human capital needs.

If your organization is interested in joining the CMO Network, contact Megan Ohlssen, Managing Director of Programs.

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School Networks Represented
Students Represented in Network
Schools Represented in Network

The Need

The charter sector cannot fulfill the responsibilities central to being public schools absent a coherent and coordinated effort to improve the capacity of individual schools to provide quality special education and related services. There is a continued need to cultivate and distribute policies and practices that ensure charter schools welcome and produce equitable outcomes for students with disabilities. Networks of charter schools operated by nonprofit charter management organizations are positioned to be thought leaders in the area of effective and innovative special education practices, but lack the required support and focused facilitation to fulfill this role. In response to this need, the Center launched the National CMO Special Education Network to provide thought leadership and facilitate and catalyze knowledge acquisition with CMOs across the country.


Our Principles

  • Students with disabilities have a right to attend and be meaningfully included in charter schools.
  • Charter schools must leverage their autonomy to develop effective strategies to ensure students with disabilities meet optimal outcomes.
  • Inclusive school-wide policies and procedures and high quality special education programs are essential to enrolling and retaining students with a diverse array of disabilities.
  • The factors that lead to disproportionality lie outside of special education. In relation to discipline, policies and practices cannot disproportionately impact students with disabilities.
  • Charter school leadership must wholeheartedly embrace and ensure diversity, access, and inclusion.

Currently Engaged CMOs

  • Acero Charter School Network
  • Achievement First Public Charter Schools
  • Achievement School District
  • Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
  • Aspire Public Schools
  • Baker Ripley – Promise Community Schools
  • Bright Star Schools
  • Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools
  • Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
  • CHIME Charter School
  • Collegiate Academies
  • Compass Rose Academy
  • DC Prep
  • Democracy Prep
  • Denver School of Science and Technology Public Schools
  • Digital Pioneers Academy
  • Fenton Charter Public Schools
  • FirstLine Schools, Inc.
  • Gabriela Charter Schools
  • Gateway Community Charter Schools
  • Golden Rule Schools, Inc.
  • Great Oaks Charter Schools
  • Green Dot Public Schools
  • Harlem Children’s Zone
  • Hebrew Public
  • IDEA Public Schools
  • KIPP Austin Public Schools
  • KIPP Bay Area
  • KIPP Colorado
  • KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth
  • KIPP Houston Public Schools
  • KIPP LA Schools
  • KIPP New Orleans Schools
  • KIPP St. Louis
  • KIPP Tulsa
  • LEAD Public Schools
  • Match Schools (related to Match Education)
  • New Visions for Public Schools
  • Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • Paramount School of Excellence
  • Partnership to Uplift Communities (PUC)
  • Purdue Polytechnic High School
  • ReNEW Schools
  • Rocketship Education
  • Rocky Mountain Prep
  • STRIVE Prep
  • Synergy Academies
  • Uncommon Schools – NYC
  • Uplift Education
  • Urban Prep Academies
  • Yes Prep Public Schools
  • YPI Charter Schools