Illinois is rewriting special education laws nearby Park Ridge.
2 years ago on 01/30/2017 at 12:31 PM

Illinois is rewriting special education laws nearby Park Ridge. If they pass each district will only get state funding for ONE special education teacher per 141 students. Please write or call your representatives. This affects all Illinois school districts and will even reach our students in Park Ridge D64 The following is more information on this harmful legislation: ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Beverley Holden Johns Date: Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 10:07 AM Subject: What have YOU done? To: bevjohns@juno. com What we call special education may be completely changed in Illinois through the recommendations of the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. What you fund is what you get. There is very sincere disagreement over the future of special education - is it largely attempts to prevent disability? The leadership of one organization sees no need for your input directly to the Commission (as they appear to favor what it is now recommending), saying the Commission will just produce a report. The Commission meets at 12 Noon on Monday, Jan. 30, and on Wednesday, February 1. It operates by CONSENSUS and if State Senators Andy Manar and Kimberly Lightford and Jason Barickman, plus State Reps Will Davis and Barbara Flynn Currie (key players in school funding reform) all agree (and no one else objects) it will be much harder to change any bill in the Illinois General Assembly. The Commission is recommending funding for concentrated poverty, but NOT for personnel related to special education. Should Illinois eliminate Special Ed Personnel Reimbursement (and two other funding lines) and instead fund special ed based on a FIXED number of GENERAL ed students? Should Illinois directly fund RTI in an attempt to drastically reduce identification for special ed (as happened in Texas)? Please click on and read the paper The Concept of RTI: Billion-Dollar Boondoggle. Since the RTI paper was written all the following has happened: On December 12, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights of the U. S. Department of Education stated about Response to Intervention (RTI): ---------------- An intervention framework must NOT, however, serve as a SUBSTITUTE, or a PRECONDITION, for an evaluation for students believed to need such an evaluation. (emphasis added) ----------------- In addition, a new 2016 OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs, U. S. Department of Education) Memo states - ------------------------------------------------ IDEA, however, does NOT REQUIRE, or ENCOURAGE, an LEA [local school district] or preschool program to use an RTI approach PRIOR to a referral for evaluation OR as part of determining whether a 3-, 4- or 5-year old is eligible for special education and related services. (emphasis added) ------------------------------------------------ As detailed by the Houston Chronicle (excerpt below) in a November 30, 2016, article, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has reversed course on RTI. ------------------------------ Some districts have also delayed services by requiring teachers to go through a new instructional program called Response to Intervention (RTI) before requesting that a student be evaluated for special education. The federal government has explicitly condemned that practice. In its letter, the TEA told districts that it would be inconsistent with federal law for a school to delay an initial evaluation on the basis that a student has not participated in an RTI framework. ------------------------------- Why is the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission now recommending funding ONLY ONE special ed position (teacher OR speech/language OR OT PT OR social worker) for 141 GENERAL ed students? Believe it or not because some in VERMONT wanted to reduce Vermont special ed identification from 16 Percent to 12 Percent. How did the Vermont study arrive at 1 for 141? The Vermont report states - The census approach to funding core special education services, called the mainstream approach in Vermont, can be accomplished by providing additional teacher resources at a FIXED level. 1 special ed teacher for 200 GENERAL ed students 1 teacher behaviorist for 1000 General ed students 1. 1 related service personnel (speech/language, OT PT, social worker) for 1000 General ed students Total of 7. 1 positions per 1000 General ed students OR 1 special ed position for 141 General ed students. In ILLINOIS if you identify 14 percent of students for special education, that is ONE special ed TEACHER for 28 students WITH DISABILITIES (IF, due to concentrated poverty, lead poisoning or other environmental factors, parents moving to your school district because you provide better and more comprehensive special ed, etc, , you identify 18 percent of students as needing special ed that would be ONE special ed TEACHER for 36 special education students). Vermont REJECTED this 1 for 141 proposal. As the Vermont report stated - the current Vermont formula is 9. 75 special education teachers per 1000 students [or one special ed teacher for 102 General ed students, NOT one for 200]. The Illinois School Funding Reform Commission current recommendations for special ed are based on the Evidence Based (Vision 20/20) Special Ed funding plan which now states - Source: Using the Evidence-Based Method to Identify Adequate Spending Levels for Vermont Schools, November 2015, Picus Odden & Associates Vermont is nothing like Illinois. It is a small rural State with very little diversity. Many schools already have ZERO special education teachers. But even Vermont REJECTED these Picus Report plans for special education funding. According to a 2016 article - The [Vermont] House Education Committee on Thursday invited Michael Giangreco, professor of education at the University of Vermont, to offer advice on budget and resources for special education students. Giangreco, whose expertise is in special education service delivery, said one of his primary concerns is that Vermont needs to find the right ratio of special education teachers and paraeducators, and do so cautiously. (quote) There is no quick fix for special education. This is a very complex area, Giangreco said. We just want to be real cautious that we do not take action that is going to harm students with and without disabilities, and I think that the Picus Report recommends some actions that could potentially be very harmful. ------------------------------ ACTION: Please call your State Senator and State Representative (and the Members of the Rauner Commission listed at the end of this emai) saying - Please do NOT eliminate State funding of $9, 000 for each special education teacher in Senate Bill 1. It is critical to specialized teaching for students with disabilities. ------------------------------------- The Illinois School Funding Reform Commission (the Rauner Commission) wants to completely eliminate the $9, 000 in State funds for each special education teacher and others providing direct services to student with disabilities. (This would remove Special Education Personnel Reimbursement from Illinois law - from the School Code. ) It wants to completely remove any direct connection between special ed services and funding, and instead provide money based on one special education position for each 141 GENERAL ed students (no matter how many special ed students there actually are in a school district). Illinois wants to cut special education because supposedly Illinois schools are overidentifying students for special ed. As a State Senator stated on January 17 (without any evidence), school districts have "drastic overidentication" for special education. ---------------------- Members of the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission - Beth Purvis, Chairperson. Office of Gov. Rauner 312-814-2121 James T. Dimas, Sec. DHS , Spfld 217-557-1601 Jodi Scott Reg Supt, ROE, Galesburg 301-345-3828 iscott@roe33. net Sen. Jason Barickman Springfield 217-782-6597 District 309-661-2788 Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant 217-782-0052 815-254-4211 Sen. Daniel Biss 217-782-2119 847-568-1250 Rep. Avery Bourne 217-782-8071 217-324-5200 Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie 217-782-8121 773-667-0550 Rep. Fred Crespo 217-782-0347 630-372-3340 Rep. William Davis 217-782-8197 708-799-7330 Rep. Sheri Jesiel 217-782-8151 847-395-8000 Sen Kimberly Lightford 217-782-8505 708-343-7444 Sen. Andy Manar 217-782-0228 618-585-4848 Sen. Iris Martinez 217-782-8191 773-278-2020 Rep. Rita Mayfield 217-558-1012 847-599-2800 Sen. Dan McConchie 217-782-8010 224-662-4544 Sen Karen McConnaughay 217-782-1977 847-214-8245 Rep. Emily McAsey 217-782-4179 815-372-0085 Rep. Bob Pritchard 217-782-0425 815-748-3494 Rep. David Reis 217-782-2087 618-392-0108 Sen. Sue Rezin 217-782-3840 815-220-8720 Rep. Christine Winger 217-782-4014 847-252-9311


2 years ago on 01/30/2017 at 12:33 PM

This also means that more students could be denied services for their disabilities. Please call!

2 years ago on 01/30/2017 at 9:38 PM

1 SPED teacher for 141 students with special needs is ridiculous. Their needs will not be met in any way, shape or form.