Facing a yawning deficit and special education spending this year of more than $923 million, or more than 15 percent of the district’s entire budget, CPS has enacted a number of new procedures and bureaucratic layers to the process for, according to the district, more accountability.
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.
“It’s delay and deny, delay and deny, delay and deny,” said Matt Cohen, an attorney who specializes in disability law and represents families contesting CPS. “It’s all about saving overall money and not doing what each child actually needs.”
Drews joins Chicago Tonight to discuss the report’s findings.
Chicago Public Schools was invited to send a representative to give us their perspective on this story but declined. They did send a statement saying that: “CPS’s new policy for special education is simple: schools are required to schedule and fully fund Diverse Learners first, this ensures that all individual plans for special education students are met, helping their academic achievement improve alongside their classmates.”