ISBE Completes Public Inquiry into Special Education Services at Chicago Public Schools

As HLERK reported in its February 2018 issue, the Illinois State Board of Education named retired partner Nancy Krent to facilitate a first of its kind public inquiry into alleged systemic issues with the delivery of special education services in the Chicago Public Schools. On April 18, 2018, Nancy Krent, along with former HLERK attorney Rupa Ramadurai and Richard Cozzola, presented the findings of their inquiry to the Illinois State Board of Education.

The Inquiry Team examined the “central question of whether there is a policy environment in CPS preventing students with special needs from being served.” As part of this central question, the Inquiry Team looked at four specific questions:

  1. Whether CPS’s electronic IEP system, either alone or in conjunction with CPS’s Policies and Procedures, results in an unlawful denial or delay of required services or limitations on the required continuum of services to students?
  2. Whether CPS’s documentation and data collection requirements result in an unlawful denial or delay in the identification of eligibility or provision of special education and related services to students?
  3. Whether CPS’s budgeting system results in the unlawful denial or delay in the provision of special education and related services to students?
  4. Have CPS’s policies regarding transportation resulted in an unlawful denial or delay in the provision of needed transportation services to students?

The Inquiry Team conducted an extensive investigation, reviewing documentation, meeting with stakeholders, and ultimately convening a public hearing. On April 18, 2018, the Inquiry Team presented its report, consisting of 43 findings of systemic concern, to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Please contact Bennett Rodick or Kaitlin Atlas with your questions on the Public Inquiry or systemic special education compliance in your school district.

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