Special education

Policy Update: Protecting Special Education for Illinois Children

UPDATE, 8/26/2019: After passing both the House and the Senate unanimously, Gov. Pritzker signed both bills into law on August 23. Two special education bills crafted in collaboration with Legal Council progressed through the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee in the Illinois House of Representatives on March 27. While CPS and other officials struggle to…

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LETTER TO ISBE: CPS Special Education Update, February 2019

This letter was sent by a special education advocacy group to members of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) on the morning of February 26, 2019, prior to a presentation to ISBE members by the ISBE Monitor for Chicago Public Schools’ special education program. Legal Council continues to be an active member of the…

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Chicago Public Schools Limiting Services for Students with Special Needs

Amy Zimmerman, Director of Children and Families Partnerships at Legal Council, was featured in a story by WBEZ that exposes problems with Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) newest policy change affecting children with significant special needs. For the first time, CPS is offering the parents of children who attend “cluster” programs, sometimes called “self-contained classrooms,” the…

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Blindsided Parents: Special Education Advocates Hold CPS Accountable

This week Legal Council’s own special education advocate Barb Cohen and WBEZ’s Sarah Karp discussed Chicago Public Schools’ relationship with the parents of special needs students on WBEZ’s All Things Considered. Over the last year C.P.S and their Special Education program have been the topic of conversation. Karp, whose extensive investigative reporting helped lead to the State…

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Improving Parent Involvement in CPS Special Education

This week, parents of Chicago Public Schools students with special needs won a significant victory: On August 20th, Gov. Rauner signed SB 454. This past May, Legal Council collaborated with Rep. Fred Crespo to pass an amendment to SB 454, amending the Illinois school code. This amendment strengthens the Chicago Public Schools special education process…

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Legal Council Advocates VS. CPS Special Education

After a public inquiry team, led by the Illinois State Board of Education, spent the last five months investigating Chicago Public Schools’ Special Education policies and practices and found significant and unnecessary delays and denials in services, the Board voted Wednesday to approve an independent monitor to oversee CPS as it works to implement changes.

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