Class size is NOT a Guideline - It’s Illinois State Law

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Class size is NOT a guideline - It’s Illinois State Law

Guidance on Special Education Class Size for 2009-2010 and Beyond, Section 226.730, states the following (2016 Update Cited Below):

(b) Class size means the total number of students an educator serves during any special education class. As used in this subsection (b), “class” means any circumstance where only students with IEPs are served and at least one special education teacher is assigned and provides instruction and/or therapy exclusively to students with IEPs. In the formation of special education classes, consideration shall be given to the age of the students, the nature and severity of their disabilities, the educational needs of the students, and the degree of intervention necessary, subject to the limitations of this subsection (b).

1) Except as provided in subsection (b)(5) of this Section, classes in which all the students receive special education services for 20 percent of the school day or less shall have at least one qualified teacher for each 15 students in attendance during any given class. However, the district may increase the class size by a maximum of two students when a paraprofessional is provided for the entire class.

2) Except as provided in subsection (b)(5) of this Section, each class in which any student receives special education services for more than 20 percent of the school day but no more than 60 percent of the school day shall have at least one qualified teacher for each 10 students in attendance during that class. However, the district may increase the class size by a maximum of five students when a paraprofessional is provided for the entire class.

3) Except as provided in subsection (b)(5) of this Section, each class in which any student receives special education services for more than 60 percent of the school day shall have at least one qualified teacher for each eight students in attendance during that class. However, the district may increase the class size by a maximum of five students when a paraprofessional is provided for the entire class.
HOWEVER: There is a state proposal to eliminate class size caps for special education rooms and let districts decide what percentage of a "general education" class can be students with disabilities.
The state also wants to eliminate the requirement for a general education classroom to be at least 70 percent students without disabilities – known as the “70/30 rule” – (State Administrative Rule Part 226.730)

ftp://www.ilga.gov/jcar/admincode/023/02300226sections.html

https://www.isbe.net/Documents/guidance_09-01.pdf

http://chicagoreporter.com/class-sizes-could-increase-special-education-...

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/education_law/2013/09/illinois-proposal...

http://www.nwherald.com/2014/01/24/no-change-for-rule-on-special-educati...

UPDATE (1/13/2016): https://www.isbe.net/Documents/226-amendments-0116.pdf#search=70%2F30%20...

Section 226.730 Class Size for 2009-10 and Beyond:

a) When a student's IEP calls for services in a general education classroom, the student must be served in a class that is composed of students of whom at least 70 percent are without IEPs, that utilizes the general curriculum, that is taught by an instructor certified holding an educator license for general education and who is employed for that purpose, and that is not designated as a general remedial classroom. For purposes of this subsection (a), a student who receives speech services outside of the general education classroom and who does not require modifications to the content of the general education curriculum shall be included in the calculation of the percentage of students without IEPs. (See 105 ILCS 5/14-2.)

b) Class size means the total number of students an educator serves during any special education class. As used in this subsection (b), "class" means any circumstance in which only students with IEPs are served and at least one special education teacher is assigned and provides instruction and/or therapy exclusively to students with IEPs. In the formation of special education classes, consideration shall be given to the age of the students, the nature and severity of their disabilities, the educational needs of the students, and the degree of intervention necessary, subject to the limitations of this subsection (b).

1) Except as provided in subsection (b)(5) of this Section, classes in which all the students receive special education services for 20 percent of the school day or less shall have at least one qualified teacher for each 15 students in attendance during any given class. However, the district may increase the class size by a maximum of two students when a paraprofessional educator is provided for the entire class.

2) Except as provided in subsection (b)(5) of this Section, each class in which any student receives special education services for more than 20 percent of the school day but no more than 60 percent of the school day shall have at least one qualified teacher for each ten 10 students in attendance during that class. However, the district may increase the class size by a maximum of five students when a paraprofessional educator is provided for the entire class.

3) Except as provided in subsection (b)(5) of this Section, each class in which any student receives special education services for more than 60 percent of the school day shall have at least one qualified teacher for each eight students in attendance during that class. However, the district may increase the class size by a maximum of five students when a paraprofessional educator is provided for the entire class.

4) Each class for children ages three through five shall have at least one qualified teacher for each five students in attendance during that class. However, the district may increase the class size by a maximum of five students when a paraprofessional educator is provided for the entire class.

5) For any school year in which the amount of State reimbursement for teachers identified in Section 14-13.01 of the School Code [105 ILCS 5/14-13.01] exceeds the amount in effect on January 1, 2007 by at least 100 percent and no corresponding reduction has been made in other State sources of support for special education:

A) The maximum class size stated in subsection (b)(1) of this Section shall be 13 rather than 15;

B) The maximum class size stated in subsection (b)(2) of this Section shall be eight rather than 10; and

C) The maximum class size stated in subsection (b)(3) of this Section shall be six rather than eight.

6) The provisions of subsections (b)(1) through (5) of this Section notwithstanding, class size shall be limited according to the needs of the students for individualized instruction and services.

c) The maximum class sizes set forth in subsection (b) of this Section shall, if necessary, be further restricted at the local level to account for the activities and services in which the affected educators participate in order to provide students with IEPs the free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to which they are entitled.

(Source: Amended at 40 Ill. Reg. 2220, effective January 13, 2016)