Charter school ruling. ... hmmm,



Thank you for posting this article, Linda. The affects of the judge's ruling will certainly travel far and wide. Is there another article that gives more information as to what services the parents have been requesting?

by the way, did you read some of the reader's comments? The ignorance of some never ceases to amaze me.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks, Linda, for the fascinating article. I am goint to print it and take it to my Teachers and the Law class tomorrow. I'm sure that it will spark a lively discussion.


The issue: Should a severely disabled student be allowed to remain at the small charter school she and her parents prefer, or can the school place her elsewhere?

The decision: Avalon charter school's proposal to move Devra Goldstein to a different setting is granted.

What's next: Devra's parents haven't said whether they'll appeal. If they do, it may tie the case up long enough for her to finish high school at Avalon.

From the ruling: "This is not a case where the parties have mild disagreements. Similarly, it is not a case where the school has made token gestures for a short period of time and has simply decided the student is too much trouble. This case involves extraordinary efforts on the part of a very small staff to meet the unique and complex needs of a student who is multiply impaired. ... (The staff's) inability to meet the parents' expectations has resulted in increasing conflict between the parties, has resulted in remarkable staff turnover, and has created what some staff characterize as a 'hostile work environment.' Sadly this has negatively impacted the educational benefit (the) student can receive there. For all of these reasons, it is no longer feasible to provide services to the student at Avalon."

I have maintained all along on this board that some parents don't understand that an adversarial relationship with the school staff is not in the best interests of the child. I know that many see it as being a "warrior mom" but in this case it has backfired and the parents are going to lose the services they were advocating for.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I agree with you - I've had to hold husband back from verbally whaling on various school staff. It's never appropriate & would have damaged a working relationship I had worked on for a very long time.

And I believe there is a huge difference between assertive & adversarial. Over the years, I've compromised on many items on the IEP; SD compromised as well. In the end, we always came up with a viable workable solution.

I posted this because I've been watching this case for months now.


New Member
<span style='font-size: 11pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #3333FF"> very interesting situation. even when charter schools are part of the school district & not independent from they run much like private schools reserving the right to determine who gets admitted & who gets to stay. it's not quite the same as regular public schooling.

the constant changeover in staffing affect not only their daughter but the other kids as well who have just as much need for consistency.

it's so important for parents to pick their battles carefully & it doesn't matter if the child is special needs or not. it never pays to alienate those often spend more time with-our kids than we do/can.

</span> </span> </span>

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
As a parent whose difficult child attends a Charter school, I understand just how precarious their placement can be. Our charter is run by a most amazing woman who extends a hand to help every child that passes over the threshold. Unfortunately, I know of a few kids she was unable to reach and/or help. She simply did not have the resources available.

While being a part of the public school system, charter schools do still run independently; not only based on which children they will accept or deny, but they also run independently [for the most part] monetarily. Charter schools here in CT do not receive the same funding as district public schools. For instance, charter schools must pay their own mortgage or rent and utilities while our local public HS's rent/mortgage is part of our town's budget. Likewise, much of the funding our charter school does receive from the state/federal government is used for cost per pupil and meeting the state/national requirements, not to mention the actual school requirements, which are stringent. Our charter school teachers are not paid the same as local public school HS teachers, yet they put up with a lot of more crap - *think* major behavioral and disciplinary actions. A charter school like ours, only 85 students divided between 10/11/12th grades, comes up short of funds many times throughout the year. They have a 'wish list' that they hand out every few months for items like paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, ketchup, cleaners and mops, etc.

Our director is constantly seeking parental involvement when seeking monetary aid in the form of federal grants and the release of funds through out state education department - it can be quite tiring and humbling to run a quality school on fumes.

Add to that a child with exceptional needs and I can see why they would try to help, but then deny, that child access to thier school. I think that the parents are doing thier daughter a disservice as well as placing many other students at risk of losing thier place at the charter school and they should seek another environment for her. It is a sad story to be sure.


I doubt this article contains all pertinent facts, but the judge's comments "it is not a case where the school has made token gestures for a short period of time and has simply decided the student is too much trouble" is very telling for me:

1 - the judge recognizes that short-term token gestures are too often the norm, and
2 - this is not the case in this instance.

In this case, the student apparently needs more services and specially-trained personnel than this particular campus can provide. I don't read the article to mean that services are being denied; rather that they need to be provided at a better equipped facility.

I think parents sometimes get confused regarding "placement." "Placement" is not necessarily a particular campus (place), rather it's the services outlined in the IEP which are to be delivered in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Often this scenario is reversed; for instance, with parents wanting a more restrictive environment (as perceived by the sd) such as an Learning Disability (LD) school, autism school, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), etc., and the sd refusing preferring to mainstream with-Special Education supports.

Based on the info provided in the article, in my opinion, this ruling has no legal adverse effect (except psychologically) because it doesn't change anything, e.g., LRE should be determined based on the unique needs of each student.

And I believe there is a huge difference between assertive & adversarial.

I agree.


Well-Known Member
Just by reading this article and having no further information on this case, I have to agree with Sheila.

I am saddened by the effect it may have on this couple's daughter but hopefully they will choose the next step carefully to minimize further damage to all concerned.