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
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 http://www.isbe.net/rules/proposed/default.htm and the proposed amendments will be published in the Illinois Register on Friday, March 8, 2013, (http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/home.html), 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.”