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State Superintendent Offers School Districts Flexibility

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June 16, 2010

By: Jennifer A. Smith

State Superintendent Christopher Koch highlighted the ability of school districts to apply for a modification of ISBE rule 226.730(a), which is known as the 70/30 rule, in his June 14, 2010 message. Unless a school district obtains a modification, the 70/30 rule requires that a regular education classroom be composed of at least 70 percent students without Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

School districts frequently find 70/30 rule compliance highly burdensome due to ongoing student schedule changes throughout the year and the inclusion of students with minimal IEP services as special education students. Further, if rigidly adhered to, the 70/30 rule may exclude students from the classrooms most appropriate to meet their educational needs. Therefore, rule modification will likely be highly beneficial for many school districts.

Dr. Koch states in his message that he believes that ISBE “can offer additional flexibility to districts under the 70/30 rule in a way that makes sense and yet still ensures that all students will be appropriately receiving those services due to them under their respective IEP.”

School districts wishing to request such a modification waiver need to complete a deviation request form.

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