Advocates: CPS, ISBE still failing to ensure special ed kids getting services

By Lauren FitzPatrick - November 12, 2018

Chicago Public Schools officials still aren’t providing all special education students with the services they need and are entitled to — and the state monitor tasked six months ago with overseeing CPS isn’t doing enough either, disabilities rights advocates said Monday.

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Chicago special education reform has been slow and underresourced, advocates say

By Adeshina Emmanuel - November 12, 2018

Despite the state taking over Chicago schools’ troubled program for special-needs students, both education services and communication with parents remain woefully lacking, advocates for families alleged Monday.

The groups, including Equip for Equality, Parents 4 Teachers, Access Living and Raise Your Hand, released a survey of 800 parents and teachers that indicated that the Illinois State Board of Education’s reforms have fallen far short of its promises, six months after a state probe found Chicago schools violated students’ rights by routinely delaying and denying services, such as  speech and occupational therapy, busing, and classroom aides.

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Chicago's teachers and CPS are negotiating a new contract. The Chicago Teachers Union’s contact proposals include important services and supports for our classrooms, while CPS is asking for a 7 percent pay cut and threatening massive layoffs. Since CPS is only required by state law to negotiate over pay and benefits, it falls on parents to make their voices heard and demand CPS address the needs of students, teachers and families during contract talks. Here's what parents and teachers are fighting for.

Statement by Sarah Simmons, P4T member

My name is Sarah Simmons, and I work with Parents 4 Teachers and I'm a parent at Northside College Prep. I've been a CPS parent for 22 years and a resident of the 6th district for 22 years.

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The Truth about CPS School Closings

CPS claims half of Chicago’s schools are “underutilized” and as many as 80 of them may need to be closed to “right size” the district and help address a supposed $1 billion deficit. Parents are skeptical of these claims, with good reason.

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