Is your district breaking special education law?

Imagine seeing programs and services for students with disabilities disappearing to save money, because the district suddenly has a “new way” of doing business.

Imagine someone arbitrarily changing a student’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) without notifying members of the IEP team.

These disturbing scenes are occurring statewide as districts are using misleading language and changing job titles to save money delivering one-size-fits-all special education programs, according to a new report available to CTA members called “Special Education in California.” In many cases, what is happening violates the state’s Education Code, say CTA staff experts.

As much as special educators want students with disabilities to be mainstreamed into regular classrooms, it must be done correctly and for the right reason. Saving money is not the right reason.

Educators say students with disabilities are forced into general education classes because other options have been removed. Districts are changing job titles of those who work in special day class (SDC) and resource specialist program (RSP) categories, which circumvents Education Code requirements around funding requirements and caps on students. Based on administrative dictates, all IEPs look the same.

Schools are saving money, but at what cost to general and special education students?

Jennifer Moon worries that special education students in general education classes are not having their needs met. IEPs are written to fit the system, rather than having the system fit the child, she said.

“I have always believed in inclusion when it’s appropriate, but inclusion is a philosophy and not a program. It’s not good for every single kid,” said Moon, who (Continued on Compliance page) ________________________________________________________________________

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