If you have not yet heard the news, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently passed a proposal that would lift formal class size limitations on special education classrooms and allow all decisions on class size limits to be made at the local level.
We need to FLOOD the ISBE with our comments, feedback, and protests on this one, folks. We need to respond “early and often” in the next 3 weeks and do all we can to ensure that our teachers and our students get what they need to succeed.
The impact on inclusive schooling would be tremendous if this passes. Currently, no more than 30% of a general classroom can be comprised of students with IEPS. This proposal moves to eliminate that cap and make the percentage a local decision. Due to the struggles we have had getting students into general education classrooms in the state, advocates fought hard for this 30% rule. It is now in jeopardy.
On the ARC of Illinois website, Tony Paulauski made this point to communicate the gravity of the situation:
The 70/30 rule – a guideline implemented to provide assurance of natural proportion in regular education classrooms – will be eliminated if this proposal is approved. That means that there will be no regulation on the proportion of students with IEPs to those without in the definition of general education. As a result, a classroom taught by the appropriately credentialed teachers, using general ed curriculum, but consisting of all students with IEPs could be called a general education classroom.
Agency Rules Coordinator, ISBE
100 North First Street S-493
Springfield, Illinois 62777-0001
You can read about the Proposed Amendments to Part 226 – (Special Education) by clicking the link and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
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