LaTEACH members have been advocating for inclusive schools - schools that include and serve all students, regardless of the severity of a student's disability. House Bill 642 by Nancy Landry proposes to use public funds to support regional segregated schools for students with disabilities that will not necessarily provide a Free, Appropriate and definitely not a Public education. As the bill clearly states,
"The special education services and related services provided by regional special education schools shall not be construed as being part of the Free and Appropriate Public Education program mandated in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or its equivalent."
So, if passed, HB642 will establish "Regional Special Education Schools" that would:
- Not have to provide services needed by a student if those services were not already offered by the school;
- Become segregated educational settings without any requirement to educate students in the least restrictive environment;
- Be able to remove students for violating disciplinary policies or for "good cause" (Note: Federal law requires public schools to not remove students with disabilities from instruction for more than 10 days);
- Be allowed to charge parents tuition (in addition to receiving 200 percent of the amount of funding per student in public schools); and,
- Be allowed to continue receiving funding even after found to not comply with law.
Many parents have already voiced concerns about the schools this would set up. Contact Representative Nancy Landry if you would like to share how you feel about the creation of segregated regional special education schools that are not required to provide the services needed by students with disabilities.