CPS Realigns Special Education Funding to Meet the Needs of Every Diverse Learner

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) will realign special education resources following a thorough review of diverse learner programs across the district to ensure resources are in place to meet the needs of every student with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). As a result of this review, CPS will allocate 3,007 special education teaching positions and 2,687 paraprofessional positions in district-run schools compared to last year, when CPS funded 2,885 special education teaching positions and 2,662 paraprofessionals. On September 25th, CPS released final school budgets based on each school’s enrollment on the 10th day of school. As a result, some schools received diverse learner funding allocations based on a flawed funding formula.

To ensure that the needs of each student were met, CPS invited schools to appeal their funding decisions. A cross-functional team at CPS worked with Network chiefs, principals and school leaders to review each funding appeal, and CPS has begun notifying schools of their revised allocations. CPS will conduct a thorough review of its diverse learner resource allocation process to ensure improvements are made to next year’s budget process. Due to a national shortage of teachers with special education certification, CPS anticipates that all teachers and paraprofessionals will have opportunities at other schools within the District. To help match impacted staff with schools that have job openings, CPS will host a job fair on December 15th, at the Local 399 Union Hall and Training Facility, to link impacted staff with principals seeking to fill vacancies at their schools.

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