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
  • The computer system would not let the case manager “in” to include or add a service.
  • A student’s transportation was denied or eliminated without the parent/guardian’s consent.
  • A student’s school was determined according to available bus routes.

The Public Inquiry Team is looking for evidence that CPS has prevented or delayed the delivery of appropriate services to diverse learners during the last two years. There are three ways to provide evidence:

  1. Parents/guardians can contact Legal Council for Health Justice and we will collect your stories as part of our own submission. Please contact us no later than February 21.
  2. Parents/guardians can submit their own affidavit. We are happy to help with this; the form at present is difficult to navigate. Individual submissions are due February 21.
  3. The Inquiry Team has two days available for in-person testimonies. Individuals will speak for up to five minutes in the order they sign in. All testimony is private. Dates and location below:
    • February 16: Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, rooms 2-027 and 2-029. Note that you will be required to go through security prior to getting on the elevators to the 14th floor. Please bring a state identification.
      • Time Slot #1: 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
      • Time Slot #2: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
      • Time Slot #3: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
    • February 21: Center for Conflict Resolution, 11 E. Adams Street from 6 PM to 8 PM.

View our letters to CPS Special Ed families here for more information (here in Spanish), or contact Barbara Cohen at bcohen@legalcouncil.org or 312-605-1948.

Speak up if your child isn’t getting the learning services they need and deserve.