Special Education Funding for Charter Schools

Policy Description

TennesseeCAN supported passage of legislation to expand access to High Cost Special Education Reimbursements. This bill ensures that all schools serving high-needs special education students, including those attending public charter schools, can receive these crucial reimbursement funds.

Previously, school districts would submit reimbursement requests to the state on behalf of individual schools, but there was no process in place for charter schools to access this reimbursement process.

The bill also allows for district and public charter schools to collaborate for purposes of providing special education services.

Policy / Coalition Partners

Tennessee Charter School Center, State Board of Education member

Key Lessons Learned

TennesseeCAN often hears from charter schools that they are ready to serve any students. However, when they enroll students whose educational needs necessitate higher costs, charters have had to square that up with their existing budgets. This bill is a small win, but it helps.

There are many opportunities to move the needle in smaller ways that simple research can pull out. Advocates should look for more opportunities like this one to take ground on key issues.

Bill / Policy Reference

HB 1870


HB 1870 Analysis
TennesseeCAN 2018 Legislative Summary


Brent Easley, Executive Director





  • Charter School Finance
  • Charter Schools
  • Other
  • School Finance
  • Special Education

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