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The in box. ISBE’s Koch wants repeal of class size limits AND 30 percent limit in GenEd. Act now!

February 26, 2013

Illinois State Superintendent of Education Chris Koch
supports the complete “repeal” of BOTH special education
class size limits AND the 30 percent limit in general education.

This would directly affect EVERY special education teacher
in Illinois, and EVERY student with disabilities in Illinois.

Koch stated today that  –

(1) “our current rules go beyond federal law”

(2) “class size is an issue that is best addressed locally.”

(3) “These artificial limits are, in some cases, actually keeping
students with disabilities out of general education classrooms”

Koch states bluntly that “The rules will go to the State Board
for adoption in late spring.” (see complete statement at the
end of this e-mail)

Koch wants to completely eliminate “these artificial limits”
so each local school district could decide (or not decide)

if there are any limits at all to the number of students with
disabilities that each special education teacher could be

required to teach.

There would be NO state rules on forcing students with almost
any type or severity of disability (and NO limit on the number of
students) to be in the classroom of a special education teacher.

There would be NO state requirement to hire a paraprofessional
aide as class size increases.

For general education classrooms, the current 30 percent limit

on the number of students with IEPs would be abolished.

Bev Johns, Chair

Governmental Relations

Illinois Council for Exceptional Children (ICEC)

Chris Koch: February 26. 2013

“Last week the Board voted 5-1 in favor of putting out for public comment the repeal of the rules that define special education and general education class size limits (Sections 226.730 and 226.731). The rulemaking is posted on the agency’s website at and the proposed amendments will be published in the Illinois Register on Friday, March 8, 2013, (, which will begin the official 45-day public comment period. The public comment period will end at close of business on April 22, 2013. The rules will go to the State Board for adoption in late spring.

“There was significant debate during our Board meeting, both for and against the proposal, however, our current rules go beyond federal law and class size is an issue that is best addressed locally. These artificial limits are, in some cases, actually keeping students with disabilities out of general education classrooms, limiting their access to the curriculum and instruction they deserve and need to be successful.”

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2013 3:29 pm

    This idea that we are “keeping spec Ed kids out of general education” is ALEC inspired. Our Superintendent using same rhetoric. A novel approach tho is our Supt proposing funding SE kids in three categories according to severity. As if you can put a price tag on needs. Also “bribing” to drive declassification which would end the 150% per student funding by offering two years of extended reduced funding to schools/districts after the child is declassified. More B.S. proposed to change State funding for gifted and talented. It never ends.

  2. mklonsky permalink
    February 26, 2013 3:44 pm

    Let class size explode. Duncan says it’s OK. It’s for the kids. Research shows….

  3. February 26, 2013 5:20 pm

    I was at the hearing and Mr. Chico promised response time before any decision would be made.

    I also challenged their class size research and noted that yes increasing a class size from 30 to 40 doesn’t change things much because they were already changed when you go from 20 to 30. I also noted the difference in a spec ed class just going from 8 to 12 or 13 and the problems that caused which I personally witnessed.

  4. Morty permalink
    February 26, 2013 8:24 pm

    Does the IEA even have an office in Springfield anymore? What the hell are we paying state dues for? At the very least, the people we employ to lobby for us should be fired. I’m just disgusted…

  5. siglisowski permalink
    February 26, 2013 9:45 pm

    Morty is right!

  6. February 26, 2013 10:17 pm

    Hmmm…is Chris Koch related to the infamous Koch brothers?

  7. cmoore permalink
    February 27, 2013 12:14 pm

    DE-Evolution at it’s best. If the measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members then we are taking 5 steps back for every step we took forward as a country…

  8. February 27, 2013 7:25 pm

    This is one more way that the state with one of THE most unfair means of educational funding, can get away with reducing services to those with a weak voice-special ed students!!!

  9. Anonymous permalink
    February 28, 2013 7:38 am

    Now we can just put all special education kids into the tenured teachers classroom, watch his or her class average go up flames and get that teacher fired due to the new evaluation system. What a great idea!!! Do any of the people who propose these ideas have a clue???? Maybe they should be required to work in schools before being allowed to make decisions about what it right or wrong for our kids???


  1. Illinois: No Class Size Limits for Special Education? | Diane Ravitch's blog
  2. URGENT: Action needed in Illinois // Paula Kluth: Toward Inclusive Classrooms and Communities

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