Supreme Court sets new standard for special ed, unanimously rejects minimal school progress
A united Supreme Court Wednesday set a new, more rigorous standard for special education services in the United States. The unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District will require school districts to offer individualized education programs “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” An attorney for the...
By Carolyn Phenicie | March 22, 2017
LA’s special ed challenge: Integrating students at younger ages without putting special education centers at risk
As LA Unified struggles to right its financial ship, the high costs of educating children with special needs have come under a microscope. One strategy being used is identifying children in the infant and preschool years to help integrate them sooner into the general education population, which then cuts back on referrals to expensive special...
By Esmeralda Fabián Romero | January 16, 2017
Report on special education in charter schools seeks to counter misconceptions
In an effort to counter the misconception that charter schools don’t accept special needs students, the California Charter Schools Association released a report Thursday highlighting how 10 charter schools in the state serve students with disabilities. The qualitative study included best practices based on interviews with charter school leaders and staff and focused on how...
By Sarah Favot | October 27, 2016
Violations found at all LA Unified preschools for disabled children surveyed by independent monitor
The independent monitor for special education at LA Unified found violations at all 13 Preschool for All Learners (PALs) programs visited, according to a new report. LA Unified has been under federal oversight since 1996 as a result of a class-action lawsuit that accused it of non-compliance with special education laws. As part of the settlement,...
By Craig Clough | August 2, 2016
LAUSD has ‘lack of urgency’ and is $695 million short on plan to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act, report says
A court-appointed independent monitor (IM) of LA Unified’s special education programs estimates that the district’s plan to bring itself in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and disengage itself from federal court oversight is roughly $695 million short of what is needed, according to a new report. LA Unified has been under federal oversight since 1996 as...
By Craig Clough | August 1, 2016
Special ed: a big drain on the district’s budget, but a potential for attracting more students
Special education students present one of the biggest costs for LA Unified, but administrators are considering ways to capitalize on the district’s successes with that population. Half of the school board’s all-day special budget session at USC on Tuesday was spent discussing the costs of dealing with students with mild and severe disabilities. Special ed is identified...
By Mike Szymanski | May 18, 2016
LAUSD and charters reach agreement on court-ordered MiSiS data sharing
LA Unified and its 221 independent charter schools have reached an agreement on the court-ordered requirement that charters sync their student data information systems with the district’s massive MiSiS system. The agreement calls on the district to develop an interface solution that will allow data systems at charter schools to communicate with MiSiS but allow...
By Craig Clough | March 18, 2016
Court monitor attacks LAUSD’s efforts to comply with ADA
A court-appointed monitor of LA Unified’s special education has harshly criticized the district for a failure to bring its facilities into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). In the latest annual report, Independent Monitor David Rostetter accused LA Unified and its Facilities Services Division of mismanagement, a lack of clear direction, inaction, failing to act...
By Craig Clough | November 19, 2015
Report praises LAUSD’s special ed integration, MiSiS progress
The latest annual report from a court-appointed monitor of LA Unified’s special education programs had praise for much of the district’s progress over the last year integrating its disabled students into general education classes. It also gave high marks for Superintendent Ramon Cortines‘ efforts to stabilize the troubled $133 million MiSiS computer system. However, the report...
By Craig Clough | November 19, 2015
Facing shortages, LAUSD stepping up efforts to find special ed teachers
Facing a statewide and national trend in a shortage of special education teachers, LA Unified officials are mounting an aggressive campaign to find them. And, if they can’t find them, the district is training the teachers themselves. “We are out and relentless as far as it goes for teachers, because university enrollment is down for...
By Mike Szymanski | October 16, 2015