Special education in CPS can be improved with help from parents
The Illinois State Board of Education’s investigation of special education in CPS — as we welcome a new CEO — provides a critical opportunity.
As CPS struggles with budgets, special education will always be looked at for efficiencies. Special education is expensive, particularly when it’s ineffective. Where can we improve quality while limiting expense?
The answer is to tap into the most underutilized resource of all: parents.
I have worked on behalf of CPS students for 25 years as a teacher, a Local School Council member and a paid consultant to organizations working with Chicago youth. My most demanding role, however, has been advocating for my now-graduated daughter with special needs, and many other families in similar situations.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act identifies parents as a requisite part of the team charged with developing a students’ Individualized Education Program.