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