Special Education Resolution

Approved April 26, 2005

Whereas data produced the State of Maryland in response to No Child Left Behind reveals that fewer than 1 in 10 African American and Hispanic students with disabilities passed all the High School Assessments in the 2003-04 academic year; and

Whereas the same data reveals that white students with disabilities performed significantly better on the same High School Assessments in the 2003-04 academic year; and

Whereas these data confirm that there is a tremendous gap in achievement between African American and Hispanic students and white students within special education despite the fact that each of these students, regardless of race, has an individualized education plan; be it therefore

RESOLVED that MCCPTA urges MCPS to investigate the achievement gap among children of different races within the special education community for the express purpose of designing and immediately implementing corrective action; and be it further

RESOLVED that MCCPTA urges MCPS to provide the resources necessary to meaningfully address this achievement gap so that all students, irrespective of race, may have the opportunity to succeed.

Whereas MCPS has proposed a Least Restrictive Environment Placement Initiative to better address the needs of the special education population; and

Whereas this initiative is an important and necessary step but is not appropriate for responding to the needs of all children within special education; be it therefore

RESOLVED that MCCPTA urges MCPS to broaden the scope of its strategic plan for special education to provide more and various alternatives in the Least Restrictive Environment placement for those students who will not be otherwise able to derive educational benefit from an LRE placement, and be it further

RESOLVED that MCPS shall specifically broaden the continuum of services in the least restrictive environment available to students in special education by exploring and providing a full continuum of services and placement choices with a full range of options within and be it further

RESOLVED that MCCPTA urges MCPS to consider implementation of a choice based model that requires consideration of multiple alternatives so that special education students may exercise more control over their educational options.