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Task force may impact Southern California special education

Recently, the California Statewide Task Force on Special Education released a report entitled “One System: Reforming Education to Serve all Students.” This report insists that numerous significant reforms should be embraced with regards to special education programs in the Golden State. Among these reforms are more substantial efforts aimed at integrating special education students into general education classrooms and an overhaul of teacher training processes.

These recommendations are not law. It is therefore important to note that numerous steps will have to be taken before school administrators and educators are compelled to comply with these recommendations in one form or another. However, if these recommendations are implemented, it seems that many schools which serve special education students specifically will close in favor of increased integration into more general education settings.

As a co-executive director of the task force recently explained, “Not all students with a particular disability need to be on a separate site. You just need to have that option, and so when you have got that secluded site, that makes it that much more difficult to provide some integration with students that are not disabled. Having your special ed on general ed sites, it provides that opportunity.”

Therefore, before these recommendations are seriously considered and potentially implemented, it will be important to study just how to balance the needs of special education students who would not benefit from integration with the needs of those who would. By striking this balance successfully, the needs of all special education students in California will be more completely addressed.

Source: LA School Report, “Task force report would overhaul LAUSD’s special education,” Craig Clough, March 9, 2015

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