What does “withdrawing” from PAEC mean?
District 89 entered into a “joint agreement” with PAEC in 1957. Our needs as a district have changed. As well, the way we educate students with disabilities and the laws have changed that require us to consider students’ Least Restrictive Environment or the possibility of attending home schools with supports and services.
What is the history of trying to withdraw from PAEC?
The District attempted on two occasions to withdraw from PAEC using the procedures required for Cook County school districts. Both attempts using existing law were unsuccessful due to other member districts voting the petitions down. District 89 worked to write pending legislation that allows for the withdrawal.
Why is District 89 withdrawing from PAEC?
District 89 believes that students are best served in their Least Restrictive Environment. Over the last 3 years, as we have increased our educational programming and opportunities within our district to meet the needs of all of our students, we have placed students at a significantly lower rate outside of the District. Currently, PAEC has less than 60 students while at the same time our District provides educational services to over 650 students with disabilities. By the 2016-2017 School year, we estimate 20-30 District 89 students will be in PAEC. Recently, we have created specialized programming inside the District for students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing and for students with Autism. These programs have successful outcomes and give students the chance to attend their neighborhood schools.
When will the withdrawal occur and what are the steps?
The withdrawal will be effective for the 2017-2018 School year.
Step #1: District 89 is required to present a “Special Education Comprehensive Plan” that outlines how we will meet the needs of all of our students with disabilities to the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) committee.
Step #2: District 89 will meet with all families impacted by the change and discuss next steps and options. IEP meetings will be held to properly address needs with a multidisciplinary team.
Will my students continue to receive services?
Yes, Students will continue to receive the level of service provided for in their IEP’s. However, each student will be given the opportunity to be considered in their least restrictive environment. The most severely impacted students will continue to receive services in a therapeutic day placement either at PAEC (on a tuition basis) or by an ISBE approved private provider.