Don't Cram Special Education Students Into Classrooms
State House Representative Roger Eddy, has a bill that is bad for special education students in Illinois.
Illinois House Bill 5575 would increase the percentage of special education students allowed in one class. Current law prevents classrooms from having too many students in a single class who require Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs). IEPs are the legal documents that outline the special education requirements for each student with special needs.
State-wide, general education classroom rosters may not be more than 30% filled by students with IEPs. At 40%, the limit is already higher for general education classrooms in Chicago. Representative Eddy's bill would allow those limits to be ignored in any situation involving a student whose special needs wouldn’t require modification of the content of the general education curriculum.
This legislation would potentially impact significantly more students, many of whom receive special education services for issues that don’t always require modification of curriculum but do require significant time and attention from general and special education teachers. These students include:
- Those who have social emotional disabilities/behavior disorders
- Those who require modifications of the curriculum in some content areas and not others, but continue to need support in each of their classes in the form of assistance with organization, attention, mobility, etc.
The 30%/70% ratio is established per class period.
For example, a student who has an IEP requiring modification of the general education curriculum in math might not require modification of the science or P.E. curriculum content. However that student could still need support and assistance from the general education teacher in science or P.E. in organizing their work, following directions, etc.
Under this legislation, that student would be part of the 30% in their math classroom but not in their science or P.E. classroom. The P.E. teacher could end up with class periods that have an unlimited number of students with IEPs because many students who need special education services do not need to have the P.E. curriculum modified.