Chicago Public Schools — the nation’s third largest school system — must turn over control of nearly every aspect of its special education program to the state but Rep. Fred Crespo says the action does not go far enough.
WBEZ News, May 16, 2018
Chicago Public Schools — the nation’s third largest school system — must turn over control of nearly every aspect of its special education program to the state, the Illinois State Board of Education said Wednesday. The board voted to appoint a monitor who will have final say on all policies and budget plans related to special education.
It’s a major blow to CPS’ autonomy and a rare and aggressive move by the state. CPS spends $900 million, or more than 16 percent of its total budget, on special education annually to serve more than 52,000 children with a broad range of special needs, including learning issues and behavioral and physical disabilities.
Crespo said he is considering introducing legislation in the next few days to push CPS to go further.
This includes requiring CPS to pay a minimum of $10 million to students whose services were delayed or denied, and mandating that CPS pay $500,000 for parent training and distribute the findings of the state’s investigation and remedies to all CPS parents. He also wants to require ISBE to review whether CPS’ special education policies disproportionately impact minority students of color.
Crespo’s legislative ideas mirror many raised by special education advocates.