Special Education Talking Points

Published May 17, 2013

Case management should be left in the hands of child study team members.  

  • Child Study Teams include school psychologists, learning disabilities teacher-consultants, school social workers, and speech-language specialists.  These professionals have specialized training, are licensed and are most familiar with the legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the resources available for managing special education cases.  They are most suitable to manage cases because CST members advocate for students and their families by serving as the liaison between teachers, the school, and the community.

Requiring special education teachers and counselors to serve as case managers will distract and diminish the time they need to spend working with students in the classroom. 

  • Case managers are often called upon to help a student who is having difficulty in class.  A case manager, who is teaching, however, cannot provide the needed assistance when he/she is in class - - and it is unfair to students to lose their teacher to case management responsibilities in the middle of a lesson.

The proposed code allows too much time for school districts to complete the evaluation of a student with a disability in certain circumstances.

  • This specifically affects a student that transfers in to a district. When a student transfers in, the district is obligated to place the student according to the data (IEP) received from the previous district. The district currently has 30 days to determine if the information received from the prior district is accurate and appropriate to the current setting. The proposed regulation change increases this timeframe to 90 days—nearly 1/3 of the school year—which means a student could be inappropriately placed for this duration of time. As all special education teachers know, IEP’s need to be in place as soon as possible, so that teachers can provide their students with the supports needed to become successful learners.
The proposed code inappropriately allows extended time for class-size waivers, and disregards notification to parents until after a class-size waiver has been granted.

  • The IEP should be the only determining factor when deciding the program and class-size that is best for a student with a disability.  Parents are part of the IEP team and therefore should be notified of any potential changes before the changes are made.  Current regulations have recommended class-sizes based on best practices and research shows that students benefit when they have an environment that allows for them to interact with the instructor and each other.  Class-size waivers should be the exception and granted on a temporary, emergency basis only.