Action urged after CPS special ed report

Posted4/19/2018 11:33 AM

The findings of a just-released state probe into how Chicago Public Schools handles special education funding and procedures is a good start but doesn't go far enough, says the group that sought the investigation.

"The findings capture the technical violations, but kids were affected, kids didn't get aides, kids got injured, they didn't get summer school, they didn't get transportation," said Matt Cohen, an attorney for the advocates who brought the original claim against CPS. "What we really need to see now is what does the board do with the recommendations."

State investigators held three public meetings in March and also collected some 8,600 pages of documents before releasing their findings Wednesday at the Illinois State Board of Education monthly meeting.

"There is a lack of regular, coordinated and comprehensive trainings to provide CPS special education staff the knowledge that they need to implement the special education system," ISBE's general counsel Stephanie Jones told the board.

Jones also said the probe found significant problems with CPS' electronic forms used to develop individual programs for kids in need of special education services. Updating those forms often required the approval of a school principal or a district official, who sometimes didn't show up for meetings where the changes were to be made, delaying services for students.

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