Special Education Committee Launches Today with First Meeting

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 11, 2016) - The Board of Education will hold today the first meeting of the Special Education Ad Hoc Committee, which will focus on the services provided to the District’s more than 80,000 students with disabilities. The committee will be chaired by Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson, who will lead today’s discussion of L.A. Unified’s programs, services, funding and trends.

Board President Steve Zimmer as well as Board Members Dr. Richard Vladovic and
Dr. Ref Rodriguez are scheduled to participate in the inaugural meeting. Board Vice President Dr. George J. McKenna III will join in future meetings.

“The vision of our Special Education office is to inspire all students to reach their maximum potential as productive and responsive citizens,” said Board Member Schmerelson, who is a retired teacher and principal.

“One of the reasons that I am so proud of all the years I worked in public education is our commitment to serve every child who comes through our doors,” he said. “Among these students are those who may learn differently because they come to us with certain health conditions that require special education.”

The issues set for discussion include:

  • How well is L.A. Unified serving students with special needs?
  • How are the special needs of students identified?
  • What is the history and status of the Chanda Smith litigation, which resulted in a consent decree that mandates reforms in the District’s special education programs?
  • How are special education services integrated into instruction, curriculum and teacher training?
  • How is the District making schools more accessible to students with disabilities?
  • What is the cost, and the sources of special education funding?
  • How do independent charter schools serve children with disabilities?

Public comment is also encouraged at the committee meeting, which is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. today in the boardroom of L.A. Unified’s headquarters, 333 S. Beaudry Ave.

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766

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