Special education

Policy Update: Protecting Special Education for Illinois Children

UPDATE 4/12/2019: Both of Legal Council’s special education bills passed the House unanimously on April 11, 2019. Thank you to sponsors Rep. Crespo, Rep. Carroll, Rep. Davis, and Rep. Martwick for their continued leadership and advocacy on behalf of Illinois students with special needs. Stay tuned for more updates as the bill continues to the…

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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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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…

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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.…

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