Parents in the Arlington Heights school district were told last week that special education students are receiving too many services, according to a Chicago Tribune report. Parents voiced concern about the report at the most recent Arlington Heights School District 25 board meeting.
The special education program was reviewed by a for-profit agency based out of Massachusetts. The overall impression was that the school district viewed the results as a cost-cutting opportunity. It was reported that students were receiving more services than the federal government deems appropriate. Futures Education pointed out changes in services and Medicaid billing could help to recover $285,000.
One board member pointed out that the report provided by Futures Education used data based on Boston schools. Arlington Heights is not the first school district that has faced criticism after using information gathered by the company. The contract that the school district signed with the company required that at least $50,000 in cost savings be identified.
Special education services are not cookie cutter education plans. Every student is evaluated individually, and an education plan is created around those needs. Parents are concerned that the report may result in the loss of appropriate services for students who need them the most. Teachers in the special education program are also concerned about the state of programs within the district because of the report.
Parents concerned about the education plan for their children can contact the Illinois State Board of Education or visit the state's special education website for detailed information about the rights of students in Illinois.