One relevant voice terms it “an important milestone.”
Another responds that strong endorsements of a judicial agreement concerning special education in the Los Angeles Unified School District are both premature and overly laudatory. In fact, says agreement monitor David Rostetter, they are “misguided.”
What are we talking about here?
In a nutshell, something truly important and big. The bottom line regarding a recent news report on the LAUSD’s special ed mandate concerns plenary control over education for the district’s disabled children. After years of outside supervision, it is being returned to district authorities.
That control was largely transferred to federal overseers pursuant to a court decree issued back in 1996. LAUSD officials have operated under materially reduced authority since then owing to a strong perception that county management of special education programs has long been lax and even harmful for affected students.
Outside control over a generation has focused on supervision of nearly 65,000 students in the country’s second-largest school district.
As stated, a flipping of responsibilities is now on the near horizon, with a federal judge recently terminating the consent decree. Most individuals closely involved with program particulars approve of the change. They stress that broad-based and positive changes have occurred over the years in response to deficiencies that warranted outside supervision. Control will formally return to the LAUSD at the end of this year.
Rostetter, who also ultimately nodded approval of the pact, still cautions heightened due diligence concerning district supervision going forward.
He says that there are still “significant areas in which the district needs to improve its services.”