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Klamath Falls, OR: 18% of students SPED; charges of reducing class time

Dec 10, 2021, Klamath Falls (OR) Herald and News: Klamath Falls school district accused of reducing instruction time for students with autism https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/klamath-falls-school-district-accused-of-reducing-instruction-time-for-students-with-autism/article_435b93c1-e742-5e67-ba76-67411cdc1441.html

The advocacy group Disability Rights Oregon is alleging that the Klamath Falls City School District and the Oregon Education Department are violating laws that guarantee equal education for students with disabilities. The group’s attorney, Joel Greenberg, filed a complaint Tuesday, Dec. 7 at the state agency that names Education Department Director Colt Gill and Keith Brown, Klamath Falls City School District superintendent, on behalf of three students with autism. The group alleges the district has been reducing students’ classroom instruction time by shortening or eliminating school days since December 2019. The complaint against the agency itself alleges officials failed to operate a system that provides equal opportunities for students with disabilities. The complaint will trigger an investigation by the Education Department into the allegations against the school district. The central reason the district gave for cutting students’ class time, according to the complaint, was because each of them “lacked stamina” or had “limited stamina” for academic tasks and school activities. Disability Rights Oregon said that by cutting class hours for these students, the district failed to provide them a federally-mandated “free and appropriate public education.” This right requires that schools provide equal class time, quality instruction and integration in classes with their peers without disabilities, among other requirements. The mandate is part of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In an email to the Capital Chronicle, Brown wrote, “We are working on this matter.”… Enrollment as of 2019 was 2,913 according to the National Center for Education Statistics. About 18% of students in the district are on Individualized Education Plans, which provide support and services for students with a disability….