IMG 6679 rLegislation sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) to allow students with disabilities who attend a special needs cooperative school to continue their education even if their home district withdraws from the agreement recently sailed through the Senate.

“Students with special needs who are thriving in their school should not be forced to change educational programs due to bureaucratic decisions,” Mulroe said. “I think continuity in education is vitally important to the development of all children.”

Senate Bill 2344 allows students with disabilities that attend a special education cooperative in a different school district than their own to continue to attend that co-op if the district withdraws from the co-op.  The home school district would be required to pay the costs of sending children to out-of-district cooperatives.

Additionally, the withdrawing district would be required to present evidence to its board and other member districts that prove that withdrawing from the joint agreement is in the best interest of the students.

“If a school district decides to withdraw from a special education cooperative and disrupt the lives and education of students, I feel that they need to have a thorough explanation as to how the withdrawal would improve the students’ education,” Mulroe said.

This legislation was introduced in response to Norridge School District 80’s decision to withdraw from the Leyden Area Special Education Cooperative. If the withdrawal is approved, five children with special needs living in Norridge would be forced to leave their current school.

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