Access Living is a disability rights and special education advocacy organization in Chicago. This report was written by Education Policy Analyst, Rod Estvan. Access Living does not support the budget that CPS is proposing and voting on this Wednesday, 8/22.
As the intro states, "We discuss the longer school day for poor students with disabilities attending CPS and are concerned it will not necessarily result in academic improvement for these students because other aspects promoting effective instructional practices in the FY 13 budget are being eliminated."
And from page 5, "While the current budget is portrayed in a CPS press release as being "more open and transparent than ever before" we in fact found the interactive features to be somewhat cumbersome and slow. As a disability rights organization we were shocked to discover that CPS had created a balance the budget game where citizens could cut or increase any of 16 different factors of which the second most expensive was special education. Nowhere was it mentioned that CPS has what is called a federal maintenance of effort requirement related to these funds and if the funds were cut CPS could actually receive less money to serve students with disabilities. No where could the interactive budget cutters eliminate either a contingency line or change the vacancy factor, but they could cut special education and if they were kind hearted increase the funding."
This is an interesting report worth reading whether you have a child receiving special education services at CPS or not.