Perhaps due to the dramatic increase in children diagnosed with autism, a new type of charter school has emerged that is designed to specifically serve students with autism. If these autism charter schools illegally segregate students with autism from typically developing peers, they are vulnerable to legal challenges. In this Article, we identified many constitutional and statutory violations that could exist at autism charter schools; however, our review of the litigation found that autism charter schools have not been challenged for these legal violations. Instead, we found only one charter school case alleging segregation based on ability level and eight cases alleging racial segregation. Based on our findings, we speculate why more cases involving autism charter schools did not arise, predict that more lawsuits are probable, and provide recommendations to prevent future litigation alleging equal protection violations at these charter schools.
Decker, Janet R.; Seitz, Keshia; and Kulwicki, Bruce
"Autism Charter Schools: Legally Vulnerable or Viable?,"
Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality:
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijlse/vol3/iss1/1