Yakima School District Making Amends After Special Ed Complaint

Yakima School District Making Amends After Special Ed Complaint

The Yakima School District is trying to incorporate their Special Ed students and their standard students into a special reading program, however the teachers union do not agree with the move, and neither does the state.

According to a citizen complaint filed by the Yakima Education Association in September, the district was allegedly mixing special needs students with standard students in general education classes, without fully informing their teachers or case managers, who design their special education plan.

An investigation by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction showed the district failed to do so, including failing to inform parents of special needs kids.

The move by the district is part of a reading program, where students, both disabled and in standard classes, could work in the same classroom with a single teacher — however, that teacher may or may not be special needs certified.

This created a problem with the teachers union, who says the district was in the act of breaking the law set by the state education board.

“The teachers did not even have access to their IEP’s, so they would not know their accomodations or their handicap conditions,” said Yakima Education Association President Steve McKenna, “That’s just not the right way to operate.”

“We need to have those meetings with our Special Ed parents and make sure that the team agrees that’s the best placement for those students, and we sign the appropriate paperwork,” said Associate Superintendent of Teaching and & Learning, Cece Mahre.

The school district says they will be having several meetings over the next few weeks to inform parents and hopefully keep the program running, with Special Ed students still in the course.