Yesterday the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) passed a proposal that would lift formal class size limitations on special education classrooms and allow all decisions on class size limits to be made at the local level. We strongly oppose this proposal and agree with the many special education advocates who testified against it in Springfield this week.
If this proposal passes, the state would no longer require smaller class sizes for special education students and would allow CPS and other districts to make their own determination about the size of self-contained rooms which now have caps in place. For example, small classes currently serving autistic children who require calmer settings could be much larger under this plan.
General classrooms would also be affected if this proposal is made final. Currently, no more than 30% of a general classroom can be comprised of students with IEPS. This proposal moves to eliminate that cap and make it a local decision. We are very concerned with how this would impact all of our classrooms at CPS.
What can you do?
We are told this proposal will go to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules next. Call the state representatives who are on this committee and tell them to oppose this change. We need to keep state mandates on class size limitations for our special education students as these limits are in the best interest of children and will impact all of our classrooms if changed. Also call your own district reps and tell them about this. There may be a period of public comment in the next few weeks as well, so consider writing something to share.
Joint Committee on Administrative Rules:
SENATOR DON HARMON – Co-Chairman
6933 W. North Ave 329 State House
Oak Park IL 60302 Springfield IL 62706
708/848-2002 or 217/782-8176D-3
REPRESENTATIVE TIMOTHY L. SCHMITZ
127 Hamilton St., Ste. D 224-N Stratton Bldg.
Geneva IL 60134 Springfield IL 62706
SENATOR PAMELA ALTHOFF
1 N. Virginia Street M103C –State House
Crystal Lake IL 60014 Springfield IL 62706
SENATOR TONY MUN.OZ
1836 W. 35thSreet 323 State House
Chicago IL 60609 Springfield IL 62706
SENATOR SUE REZIN
103 5thStreet 105C State House
PO Box 260 Springfield IL 62706
Peru IL 61354
SENATOR DALE A. RIGHTER
88 Broadway, Ste.1 309D State House
Mattoon IL 61938 Springfield IL 62706
SENATOR IRA SILVERSTEIN
2951 W. Devon 121B State House
Chicago IL 60659 Springfield IL 62706
773/743-5015 , 217/782-5500
REPRESENTATIVE GREGORY HARRIS
1967 W. Montrose Ave. 253-S Stratton Bldg.
Chicago IL 60613 Springfield IL 62706
REPRESENTATIVE LOUIS I. LANG
4121 Main Street 109 State House
Skokie IL 60076 Springfield IL 62706
REPRESENTATIVE DAVID L. LEITCH
5407 N. University St. 314 State House
Arbor Hall, Suite B Springfield IL 62706
Peoria IL 61614 217/782-8108 , 309/690-7373
REPRESENTATIVE DONALD L. MOFFITT
64 S. Prairie Street 223 N Stratton
Suite 5 Springfield IL 62706
Galesburg IL 61401 217/782-8032 , 309/343-8000
371 E. 75thSt. 247-E Stratton Bldg.
Chicago IL 60619 Springfield IL 62706
773/873-4444 , 217/782-1702
Email us if you have questions. We are looking at creating a special ed RYH sub-committee, too. If you would like to participate, let us know.