Parents Demand Special Education Changes- Press Conference Video & Unelected BOE Statements, October 25, 2017
Wednesday, October 25, was all about special education advocacy and action in Chicago!
Parents and elected officials joined together for a press conference before the unelected Board of Education meeting. Then, parents attended the BOE meeting and several spoke. A link to the video of the press conference is below as well as text of the BOE statements.Read more
On Monday October 17, WBEZ published an explosive report about CPS' secret plan designed by politically-connected consultant firms to systematically reduce and restrict provision of federally-mandated special education services. You can find a petition demanding the removal of CEO Forrest Claypool and release of funds to cover special education cuts to sign here written in response to WBEZ's story.Read more
Dear Mayor Emanuel,
We are CPS parents and concerned citizens who are deeply outraged at the WBEZ report that came out this week, WBEZ Investigation: CPS Secretly Overhauled Special Education At Students’ Expense, detailing the implementation of a secret special education manual designed by contractors with no education experience who were paid $15M to create barriers to access to services for special education students.
Many parents have brought these concerns listed in the report to the Chicago Board of Education and have been dismissed by CEO Forrest Claypool and called “factually inaccurate” by Board of Education President Frank Clark.
We demand that you:
fire CEO Forrest Claypool;
free the funds from city coffers that you previously promised for the CPS budget;
eliminate middle-management funding gatekeeper positions, added to implement the July 2016 CPS Special Education Procedural Manual’s illegal restrictions and directives;
follow Federal IDEA Guidelines by eliminating burdensome and duplicative data collection and service-justification forms that keep special education staff away from direct service to students in the classroom;
restore busing service to all CPS students with special needs, based on what an IEP or 504 Team deems appropriate;
cancel the contracts with Crowe Horwath, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and KPMG intended to systematically restrict provision of special education services; and
redirect the monies for Items (3) and (6) toward direct special education services in the classroom.
CPS has institutionalized illegal and systemic violations of the rights of students with special needs since the July 2016 release of the CPS Special Education Procedural Manual. Children who have special needs have a small window of opportunity to make progress toward the goals of education, independence, contribution and self-reliance. We expect your immediate attention to these demands. Please contact Mary Hughes to discuss your plan for the resolution of this matter.
We have many questions about how the proposed cuts were determined, and why schools receiving Title 1 and SGSA funds received disproportionately higher cuts. While we agree strongly that the state must do a better job of funding education equitably, and should provide pension parity, CPS has to improve their practices of funding schools equitably within the district and creating policies that impact schools fairly.Read more
Raise Your Hand maintains that current per pupil funding levels are inadequate to provide a high-quality, well-rounded school day in an equitable manner across the city of Chicago. We are providing suggestions for the Board of Education to help put dollars back into the classroom where they are most needed. These suggestions combine a mix of cuts to Central Office and citywide offices and revenue suggestions for the local and state level. View the Memo