Another step forward for special ed
A new state audit on "related services" in Baltimore schools reports significant improvement from last year, with noncompliance rates now in the single digits. That's a long way from the 90,000 hours of makeup services the system was ordered to provide back in 2005 when I started covering the city schools. And just last fall, the system acknowledged that it was not in compliance with the related services provision of the Vaughn G. consent decree. Now it's going to try to be freed from that provision.
So what happened? When I met with Dr. Alonso and Kim Lewis yesterday, Lewis mentioned careful monthly tracking of services. She also said the system shifted the financial burden to service providers when a student misses a service and needs a makeup. Before, a contractor could be paid twice for the same job, even though it wasn't performed the first time. There's efficiency for you.
MSDE has relieved the system of one corrective action plan, but six remain involving other areas of special ed. Another step forward. How many to go?