Special Education Emergency: Tips for parents

CPS has drastically reduced special education positions across the district. Schools lost 600 special education positions over the summer and an additional round of cuts were announced last Friday. CPS has given schools until 11/2 to appeal the latest round of cuts.

Parents: do not sign on to any IEP that reduce your child’s minutes without consulting with an independent advocate unless you truly feel your child no longer requires the services being reduced. Your old IEP will remain intact until you can agree on a new one.

If there has been a reduction of staff at your school and you’re concerned about your child receiving appropriate services, we advise you to do this:

**Call your school and express concern over the loss of staff necessary to provide legally mandated support outlined in your child’s IEP. Let them know that you know the school is not at fault and let them know you want this information to help communicate with CPS at the highest levels of the organization.

**Ask who exactly is providing service minutes. The Case manager or Social Worker should act as the liaison for this information.

** Ask to speak to that person directly to confirm minutes and service and to receive documentation of the service schedule on a weekly basis. You will need this to prove that CPS is out of compliance.

This will sadly put a burden on already understaffed schools, but at this point, CPS is making decisions not in the best interest of many kids, and we need to stay on top of this.

 ** If the school can’t provide this information, call an attorney. See our list of resources for advocates and attorneys who specialize in this area: RESOURCES

These mandates are being organized from the Office of Diverse Learner Services and Support (ODLSS). Please contact them and let them know this is not acceptable.

Contact: Dr. Kate Anderson Foley*

Deputy Chief, Office of Diverse Learner Supports + Services
Office: *773-553-1898* I Email: kafoley@cps.edu 

Call Mayor Emanuel's Office: 312-744-3300

Call your elected officials and tell them how chronic underfunding is impacting your school!

Alderman Contact info is here: https://chicago.legistar.com/People.aspx

Contact your state Representative and Senator. Verify who your legislators are here: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx