Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Rauner, Smith & Meeks: Killing Special Ed in IL

Rauner's  hand-picked State Supt. Tony Smith called the board's move, "basically the most equitable way of distribution we've got."
The center-piece of Gov. Rauner's divisive, winners-and-losers plan for funding Chicago Public Schools operations is to divert millions from the state's (mostly suburban district's) special education fund.

The State Board, headed by Pres. James Meeks, consists of nine Rauner appointees.

Rauner and Meeks
The Tribune reports:
The Illinois State Board of Education is proposing to take $305 million from an account designated for special education services and give that money to districts next school year for general expenses that may have nothing or little to do with kids with disabilities.
 Even without this source of funding for special education, districts would be expected to continue covering those costs as required by law.
 "The state is in a budget crisis — I understand that. But it is crazy to put that on the backs of children with disabilities," says Beverly Holden Johns, who is active in several special education organizations in Illinois. She questions the legality of the state board's proposal.

So do I.

It's also a way to pit the state's poorer urban school districts against wealthier suburban ones rather than adequately and equitably fund both.

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