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Subtopic: Special Ed   |   Special Education Alert #2   |   Five Reasons to Oppose the District's Plan to Restructure SEAC
Five Reasons to Oppose the District's Plan to Restructure SEAC
1) The district says that its proposal to restructure the Special
Education Advisory Council (SEAC) is designed "to provide wider
access to parents." ** (see end note)

Under its current by-laws any parent of a special ed student who
attends a SEAC membership meeting is a member. The district's
proposal to restructure the SEAC actually makes it far less
accessible to parents.   

2) District officials imply they are concerned that SEAC is not
representative of parents of special education students, but the
special education department has not assisted SEAC in doing
outreach work. One cannot expect a parent advisory council to be
very representative of parents who don't even know of its existance.

3) "The new Parent Advisory Council, in accordance with MN Statute
125A.24, will provide input to the special education administration on
special education programs and procedures in MPS." - from letter to
parents dated 8-30-02**.
Under its current by-laws SEAC also moniters the district's
compliance with state and federal laws. SEAC has filed complaints
with the Federal and State governments, including a complaint about
the district seeking and recieving millions of dollars in payments for
special education services it didn't actually provide to its students.  
The district was forced to pay back all that money.

4) The special education department will appoint parent and non-parent
representatives to the new SEAC.  Under its current leadership SEAC
has been a watch dog that barks and bites when necessary.  The new
restructured SEAC will be the special education department's ever docile
lap dog.    

5) "At the first SEAC meeting this year, a draft of the SEAC Advisory
Council by-laws will be presented to the Parent Advisory Council for
input and approval." - from letter to parents dated 8-30-02**

In effect the special education department is attempting to dissolve
SEAC and rescind its current by-laws by bureaucratic fiat.  

**see Special Education Alert #2 at http://educationright.tripod.com

-Doug Mann  September 13, 2002