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CPS Special Ed under investigation

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has begun a “Public Inquiry” into CPS’s handling of special education concerns in response to a coordinated effort by Legal Council for Health Justice and other educational advocacy organizations and groups representing parents, teachers and principals.  As part of its investigation, ISBE will conduct public hearings where parents and guardians can testify or submit written testimony about their experiences with Special Education in CPS. Examples of issues faced might include: The IEP/504 team wanted to include a service or support, but the school said they don’t have authority to make the decision (for example, an aide or extended school year). The IEP/504 seemed to be finished, but then someone went in and changed the plan after the meeting. The computer system would not let the case manager “in” to include or add a...

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Special education expose

First in a series of investigative reporting from WBEZ reveals the Chicago Public Schools overhauled special education and relied on a “secret” set of guidelines “that resulted in limiting services for special education students, services like busing, one-on-one aides, and summer school.”

Our child health policy leader Amy Zimmerman is quoted extensively. Some excerpts below. Read the entire article here.

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Stay-put protections

Governor Rauner signs a bill drafted by Legal Council for Health Justice which clarifies and strengthens the ability of parents and guardians to pursue mediation where there are disagreements with the school about their child’s special education services. In addition to clarifying the process for children to continue to receive special education services during the entire mediation process (called “stay-put protections”), the bill also requires updating of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards for special education that parents must receive. This notice had not been updated since 2009!

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