COPAA, under agreement from The National Council on Disability, and in cooperation with the Center for Law and Education is conducting research for a report on Charter Schools, Choice, and Voucher Programs and the Implications for Students with Disabilities.

Parents of students with disabilities or students who are attending, have attended or tried to attend a charter school are invited to participate in one of two focus groups.  Stakeholders who represent or support families are also welcome to attend. (Space is limited to 15 participants in each)

The groups will take place in English. Please let us know if you require Spanish translation to fully participate

La discusión será en inglés. “Por favor déjenos saber si necesita traducción al español para que pueda participar plenamente.

These focus groups are part of a series being held across the country as part of this research project. This session is being facilitated by Denise Marshall, Executive Director of the Council of Parent  Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).  The findings in this report will primarily serve to assist policymakers, including the White House and Congress, and state and local education agencies with insight needed to make policy decisions designed to improve the outcomes for students with disabilities in charter schools and voucher programs.  We  believe it is essential for all stakeholders, including students with disabilities and those who support them, to participate and have a voice in the reports and recommendations for practical improvement of policy that significantly impacts their lives.

If you choose to participate in one of these focus groups your answers will be kept confidential and your personal information will not be shared with anyone outside the research team. Being in this study is voluntary.

What is the purpose of this research?

The purpose of this research is to examine and analyze issues associated with the participation of students with disabilities in charter schools and voucher programs. The information obtained will be used to draft a report on Charter Schools, Choice and Vouchers – Implications for Students with Disabilities, and to provide recommendations based on the findings.

The overarching framework includes consideration of the following six areas:

  1. What legal requirements in IDEA 2004, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and other relevant statutes pertain to charter schools and voucher programs?
  2. What regulations or guidance exist?
  3. What issues of concern (if applicable) were raised in NCD previous reports that have yet to be resolved?
  4. What does the literature currently say about charter schools and voucher programs?
  5. What descriptive data are available at the national level?
  6. How do stakeholders–students, parents, teachers, district/state leadership, and/or Administration officials–perceive the issues?
How long will I take part in this research?

Your participation will consist of your participation in the focus group is for up to 2 hours over the course of one day.

What can I expect if I take part in this research?

As a participant, you will participate in a focus group that will explore the perspectives and experiences of various stakeholders about the participation of students with disabilities in charter schools and voucher programs.

What are the risks and possible discomforts?

The risks or possible discomforts are minimal.  If at any time you experience discomfort or emotional distress we will immediately discontinue the interview, and ask if you would like to continue or end the interview. Participation is completely voluntary.

Where and When Are The Focus Groups Taking Place? 

Thursday, December 7th
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

St. Petersburg Main Library
3745 9th Ave. North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713


Register to participate in the December 7th Group


Tuesday, December 12th
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Offices of Langer Law, PA
15715 S. Dixie Highway
Suite 405
Miami, Florida 33157
T: 305.901.6277


Register to participate in the December 12th Focus Group

Send any questions to

This research has been reviewed by Solutions IRB (Institutional Review Board) for the protection of all research participants.  Solutions IRB can be reached at (855-226-4472) or

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