Special Education Case Loads Task Force

Special Education Caseloads: Committee Draft Recommendations

Categories #3 through #10

1. 13 Blue MDE should evaluate current monitoring process to improve special education teachers understanding of compliance requirements. In addition, MDE should move more toward an outcome based monitoring system.
2. 12 Blue 2 Red Recommend: Require or develop “progress-monitoring software” and seek out and implement new technologies.

• An Example is: Enterprise Content Management (ECM) from Perceptive Software).

• Use technology for video conferencing, electronic parent and educator signatures, automatic data input, and MDE required reporting functions that are automatically accessible eliminating the need for teachers to send to the department.

• Anchorage Alaska School District has gone virtually paperless in special education and other departments.by using technologies. They have indicated it has greatly reduced workload thus creating a better working environment for their staff.

3. 10 Blue Recommend: Every school has access to a testing coordinator who completes three year reassessments and initials and writes the evaluation reports and sets IEP meetings with parents.

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4. 8 Blue MDE should continue to find ways to streamline paperwork required in special education and identify effective practices from districts to encourage additional efficiencies

5. 7 Blue Recommend: Use administration support like due process secretaries to schedule meetings, type forms, etc.

6. 7 Blue Recommend: That caseload distribution to be a team decision with both administrators and teachers, in order to provide the best fit for students and workload for teachers.

7. 6 Blue Recommend: Each special education teacher has 1 period to prep for classes and 1 period to work on due process. (See about estimated total hours spent on paperwork per school year for each special education teacher)

8. 5 Blue Recommend: The position of SPED paraprofessionals specialized, increase pay and required experience/education so they are able to be of more assistance to teachers with both students and workload.

9. 3 Blue Recommend: Requiring higher education institutions explore a special education “licensure” option instead of requiring a complete master’s program.

10. 3 Blue Recommend: Train paraprofessionals in behavior management (the fine line between enabling and enriching student learning).

11. 3 Blue Recommend: Giving teachers more control on scheduling the students on their caseloads like in the past.

12. 3 Blue Recommend: That school districts have the greatest flexibility in determining their staffing levels based on the needs of the students and financial conditions. School administrators use various strategies in their decision making as it relates to teaching and support staff.
13. 3 Blue Recommend options that would reduce school district reliance on general education funding to pay special education expenses. At the same time, MDE should work with school districts to find feasible cost controls in special education.
14. 2 Blue Recommend: Allow for regular scheduling of Due Process time for case managers within school day.

15. 2 Blue Recommend: Require all regular education teachers complete at least one broad category special education course before receiving their license.

16. 2 Blue Recommend: Having a case manager who is not the teacher.
17. 1 Blue Recommend: Providing teachers with the technology to dictate (or some other method) information for a form so someone else can do the typing.
18. 1 Blue Recommend: Funding to increase professionalism of aides
19. 1 Blue Recommend: Allowing school districts to include incentives to hire special education teachers, or in academic areas where a limited supply of candidates exists.
20. Recommend: Using special education secretaries and Case Faculty to test and complete the Evaluation Reports which is very helpful. This does provide more time with students

All other recommendations are eliminated because they either had more red votes than blue votes or had no votes at all. #20 above was somehow not included on the lists that were considered January 14.