CPS particular schooling wants ‘main modifications, main enhancements,’ board president says
School Board President Miguel del Valle on Wednesday urged Chicago public school officials to work urgently to repair special education facilities that families and advocates have said for years do not serve students adequately.
The district’s efforts to monitor and address concerns about special education are “not enough,” del Valle told CPS leaders at the monthly education committee meeting on Wednesday.
“There is still a lot of frustration with our programs for various learners. That needs to be fixed, ”he said. “It is time we made sure that the necessary changes are made so that we can get where we need to be.
“We’ll never be perfect … But we have to be better. And we have to be better this school year. We need big changes, big improvements. … We need to see these improvements and see them very quickly. “
The Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ reported earlier this month that three years after state officials ordered CPS to provide relief to families who were unlawfully denied special education services, only a tiny fraction received anything. Days later, CPS announced that it would revise the program.
Aside from remedial action, parents and lawyers have also complained about the management of the special education department and responsiveness to concerns that have long been neglected.
Interim Chief Education Officer Maurice Swinney said, “CPS has reviewed the challenges we faced in running the Compensation Utility and is excited to make changes that will help families more easily access the remedial action that is due.
“We look forward to working with our families and special educators to [the program] to a fair and successful conclusion because it is an important step in moving forward together as a district, ”he said.
Board member Elizabeth Todd-Breland asked if district officials could develop a public tracker to show families progress in accessing their remedies so that the district could be accountable.
Swinney said the district is working with lawyers to improve transparency and a public tracker could be created.