Attention CPS Special Education Parents and Teachers!

In response to a coordinated effort by educational advocacy organizations (including Raise Your Hand), disability rights groups and special education attorneys representing parents, teachers and principals, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has begun a “Public Inquiry” into CPS’s handling of special education policies and practices.
The ISBE Inquiry Team (IT) would like to hear from individual families, teachers, administrators and clinicians with stories that show CPS’s failure to provide students with special needs with a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). If you are a parent or guardian who may be willing to share your struggle to obtain appropriate services, we will gladly work with you to help you draft a statement/affidavit that adheres to the format and guidelines currently being developed by the IT.
 Scope of the Inquiry
The IT is looking for evidence that CPS has prevented or delayed the delivery of appropriate services to students who have special needs. We are interested in any stories you have to share, but the following are examples (only examples!) of issues we particularly need right now:
  • The IEP Team wanted to include a service or support, but you were told that only a district representative could make that decision (especially regarding paraprofessional support, busing services or ESY/Summer School).
  • The IEP seemed to be finished, but then someone went in and changed it after the meeting.
  • The computer system would not let the case manager “in” to include a service
  • The IEP Team believe that a student needed a service or support, but you were told that the service could not be included in the IEP until more data was collected.
  • Teachers complained that they did not try to include a service because it would require too much work to document
  • The parent/guardian was told that the school does not have money to pay for a service or support (like an aide) or that the school will need to take money out of the gen-ed budget to pay for something.
  • A student’s transportation was eliminated without your consent.
  • A student’s school was determined according to available bus routes.
How to Tell Your Story:
The IT is providing three ways to give them evidence.
  1.  Parents/guardians, administrators, teachers or clinicians can contact us and we will collect your stories as part of our own submission.
  2.  Parents/guardians, administrators, teachers or clinicians can submit their own affidavit. We are happy to help with this; the form at present is difficult to navigate.
  3.  Parents/guardians, teachers or clinicians can speak to the IT in person on:
Friday, February 16, 2018
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph
Room 2-027 and Room 2-029
Time Slot #1:  8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Time Slot #2:  12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Time Slot #3:  3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Center for Conflict Resolution
11 E. Adams
Between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Anonymous Testimony.  If you want to submit testimony anonymously, you can share your story with ISBE and ask them to redact your name and the school name so that CPS and the advocate group do not have your personal info. If you want to submit this way, you have until 2/21 to do so.
Spanish language translation services will be provided.  
Tenemos interpetes que hablan español.
Questions?  Contact:  Wendy Katten at Raise Your Hand