Chicago Principals & Administrators Association

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President LaRaviere Delivers Compelling Testimony on Special Education Before the Illinois House Education Committee

On Friday, CPAA testified before the Illinois House Education Committee as the Illinois General Assembly sought to hold CPS accountable for defunding your schools’ special education programs. Three of the points we drove home with our research are:

  1. CPS lumped special education and general education into a zero-sum funding competition with one another by insisting schools pay for special education services through cutting staff from the general education program.

  2. CPS engaged in blatant racial discrimination in response to appeals for additional funding.

  3. CPS financial mismanagement has led to us having virtually the most understaffed schools in Illinois. This year, we fell to 857th out of 858 school districts in staffing after CPS instituted the zero-sum funding game during the2016-17 school year.

Please watch the ten-minute video here to see the compelling original research we brought for the General Assembly to consider.

The hearing also forced CPS CEO Janice Jackson to admit that the changes to special education were based on funding priorities (rather than on student needs).Click here to see WBEZ’s coverage of that issue.

Video Link: https://youtu.be/p4905sSPkfw

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Troy LaRaviere