The major effect of LEA status on charter school operations is the type of linkage that is mandated or voluntarily established between that charter school and another LEA. In Idaho, a charter school is either:
NO LINK: the charter school is a separate LEA, has full responsibility for special education, and has no link to another LEA (although a charter could negotiate some working relationship with an LEA if the charter school and LEA agree to
do so) OR
PARTIAL LINK: the charter is considered a part of an LEA. The LEA is responsible for all students, including those with disabilities. The delivery of special education services is defined in a negotiated agreement between the charter school
and the LEA. For example, the charter school may have responsibility for services, but the LEA carries out evaluation team tasks, or the charter school contracts with the LEA for all or some special education services.
Why is linkage important? Linkage defines the way responsibilities for special education evaluation and services will be carried out. There is a high degree of variability in link situations. Idaho code is not completely clear on the details
of linkage for special education in charter schools, so the specifics have to be negotiated between the charter school and the LEA. Often, some responsibilities are assigned while other operational elements are not. It is critical for a charter school
to arrange in advance and commit to writing, as clearly as possible, an understanding with the LEA(s) to avoid future problems