SPED Chicago

Jan 23, 2017, Chicago Tribune: Critics: CPS Special Ed Policy Is ‘Delay And Deny’ Venessa Fawley knew her daughter’s transition in September from preschool to full-day kindergarten at a different school would be challenging. ... But what she didn’t expect was that Chicago Public Schools would revoke her six-year-old’s special education services for the new school year. Or that CPS would deny altogether that her child was even autistic. ... Since the fall, families across Chicago have been experiencing similar problems and roadblocks following a new CPS policy that enforces a more stringent approach to identifying, evaluating and educating students with disabilities. … But critics, including dozens of teachers, administrators, parents and disability rights advocates, say the district’s changes to beef up requirements have led to inappropriate delays and reduced services for students who are among the most vulnerable children in the city. ... Special education has been a growing issue throughout the school year for CPS. … Data presented at the board meeting showed that this school year there are 52,093 students with IEPs -- or 13.7 percent of total enrollment -- compared to 52,595 last year, which was 13.4 percent of total enrollment at the time. In 2012, it was 12.3 percent, according to the district.