RESOLUTION 2010-16

Charter Schools
AMERICAN COUNCIL OF THE BLIND
RESOLUTION 2010-16

SUMMARY:

1. This organization strongly urges the Department of Education to undertake a study that will gather data on the numbers of students who are blind or visually impaired who are being served in private and charter schools which would also explore the range of services that are being offered in such schools.

2. The Department of Education is also encouraged to compare the range of blindness-related services offered by such schools with those available through the public school systems throughout the country.

3. Their findings be issued in a report that will enable parents, organizations of and for the blind and the educational community to measure effectively the differences among these three educational options.

4. The report should focus on educational outcomes for students who are blind or visually impaired in each of these three settings.

WHEREAS, over the past decade, the number of charter schools in the United States has increased and the number of students who are blind or who have low vision who are enrolled in such schools have also increased; and

WHEREAS, an increasing number of children who are blind or have low vision are also attending parochial schools or other educational institutions which are private; and

WHEREAS, there is a paucity of statistical information concerning how well students who are blind or have low vision are being served in charter and private schools; and

WHEREAS, there is abundant anecdotal evidence that children in such schools do not receive the range and quality of services that are currently offered in public schools and which are essential for successful educational outcomes; and

WHEREAS, it is desirable to have definitive information on how students with visual impairments are being served in charter and parochial schools;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., on the 16th day of July, 2010, that this organization strongly urges the Department of Education to undertake a study that will gather data on the numbers of students who are blind or visually impaired who are being served in private and charter schools which would also explore the range of services that are being offered in such schools; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education is also encouraged to compare the range of blindness-related services offered by such schools with those available through the public school systems throughout the country; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that their findings be issued in a report that will enable parents, organizations of and for the blind and the educational community to measure effectively the differences among these three educational options; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the report should focus on educational outcomes for students who are blind or visually impaired in each of these three settings.

Adopted.

Marlaina Lieberg, Secretary