The Special Education Caseload Work Group had their first meeting on Tuesday, September 24. The work group was established by the 2013 Legislature.
The charge of the work group is twofold. First, to develop recommendations for appropriate numbers of students with disabilities assigned to a teacher both with and without paraprofessional support and for cost-effective and efficient strategies and structures for improving student outcomes. Second, the work group must also identify state special education rules that should be revised to align with state statute.
After introductions of the task force members, background information was provided on the past attempts of modifying special education caseloads. Information from other states was also shared. In fact, Minnesota is one of 15 states that has something in statute or policy. Minnesota Rules 3525.2340 provides direction to school districts on the maximum number of school-aged pupils who receive special education services that may be assigned to a teacher. Six states defer to local authority while 10 states are silent on the issue. Policy decisions related to teacher licensure areas, special education funding and federal law are just a few variables that could also impact caseload counts.
Additional data shared by the Minnesota Department of Education showed that the special education child count/personal ratios from 2007-08 through 2011-12 had only slightly increased from 14:1 to 14:3 over this time period. In a very broad sense this demonstrates that the special education caseloads have not dramatically increased over this period of time. The committee members requested a “deeper dive” into this data identifying some of the factors that may skew these ratios.
MSBA Executive Director Kirk Schneidawind is representing school board members on this task force.
The next meeting is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 15, at the Minnesota Department of Education (1500 Highway 36 West in Roseville).
- Special Education Funding Changes
- History of the Case load rule
- Additional case load background
- Group work