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Grand Forks, ND: District adds asst. director of SPED; "increased workload" 18% in SPED

May 29, 2019, Grand Forks (ND) Herald: School Board OKs new position in special education The Grand Forks School Board approved a new administrative position, a full-time assistant director of special education for the school district, at its most recent meeting. The new position was requested by Superintendent Terry Brenner, who outlined the increased workload that the executive director of special education, Tricia Lee, is handling. “We don’t bring these 'asks' very lightly,” Brenner told board members at Tuesday’s meeting. “Special education is becoming more complex, more complicated every year.” … Since 2013, the district’s special education student population has increased by 230 students, Brenner said. About 1,300 students are enrolled in the special education program. Lee has reported that 18 percent of the student population is in special education -- a figure that is higher than the state and national averages, Brenner said. And she expects more students will be enrolled next year. Over the last few years, due to an increase in students with IEPs, or Individualized Education Program, with significant issues, Lee’s role has become more involved in “legal fires relative to what the district can and cannot do with special education,” Brenner said. “These demands significantly affect Dr. Lee’s availability to meet the regular demands of the day-to-day operations of the Special Education Department,” he said. …


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