Special Education Case Loads Task Force

Recommendations for consideration for modifying existing Case Load Rule

From Committee Members

Case Loads

1. Recommend Lower caseloads or create different ways to handle paperwork.
2. Recommend: Repeal the current rule/law pertaining to caseloads. ( See recommendation # 1 below)
3. Recommend: Providing the greatest flexibility for school administrators in meeting the needs of special education students.

Rationale:

A). School administrators are always trying to balance the needs of all students and available revenue. Placing additional limitations on the management of teachers and paraprofessionals would likely result in pressures in other parts of the school district budget and classrooms.

B). Districts have diverted a substantial portion of general education aid and local operating levy revenue to pay for special education costs. Additional requirements, either in statute or rule, would reduce flexibility and increase costs which would likely increase the growing cross-subsidy.

4. Recommend: Special education teacher caseloads are limited to certain number of estimated minutes each student would require to complete paperwork, parent meetings, parent communications, etc..

Rationale: Student educational needs can be better met and teachers will have time to complete their other duties such as teaching, consulting with teachers, dealing with student crises, making parent phone calls, etc.

Other

Recommendation # 1: Delete Section A. of Subp.4. in 3525.2340 CASE LOADS,

Case loads for school-age educational service alternatives.

A. The maximum number of school-age pupils that may be assigned to a teacher:

(1) for pupils who receive direct special instruction from a teacher 50 percent or more of the instructional day, but less than a full school day:

(a) deaf-blind, autism spectrum disorders, developmental cognitive disability: severe-profound range, or severely multiply impaired, three pupils;

(b) deaf-blind, autism spectrum disorders, developmental cognitive disability: severe-profound range, or severely multiply impaired with one program support assistant, six pupils;

(c) developmental cognitive disability: mild-moderate range or specific learning disabled, 12 pupils;

(d) developmental cognitive disability: mild-moderate range or specific learning disabled with one program support assistant, 15 pupils;

(e) all other disabilities with one program support assistant, ten pupils; and

(f) all other disabilities with two program support assistants, 12 pupils; and

(2) for pupils who receive direct special education for a full day:

(a) deaf-blind, autism spectrum disorders, developmental cognitive disability: severe-profound range, or severely multiply impaired with one program support assistant, four pupils;

(b) deaf-blind, autism spectrum disorders, developmental cognitive disability: severe-profound range, or severely multiply impaired with two program support assistants, six pupils; and

(c) all other disabilities with one program support assistant, eight pupils.

Recommendation # 2; In Section A. Subp. 4. of Minnesota Rule 3525.2340 CASE LOADS, delete 50 percent and insert 60 percent to align with federal settings definition.

Amend to read as follows:

A. The maximum number of school-age pupils that may be assigned to a teacher:

(1) for pupils who receive direct special instruction from a teacher 50 60 percent or more of the instructional day, but less than a full school day:

Recommendation # 3: Clarify terminology to align with current practice by doing the following:

1. Develop a definition for “case load.”
2. Change Title for Minnesota Rule 3525.2340 Subp 4 to make sense especially as it relates to the term “educational service alternatives “.
3. Substitute “paraprofessional” for “program support assistant” in Case Load Rule. (Paraprofessional is defined in the rule, program support assistant is not.)
4. Conduct a legal review of disability terms in the rule to assure they reflect current practice and terminology with both state and federal statute.

Recommendation # 4: Determine if local districts have complied with requirements for adoption of a local district policy on caseloads. (Minnesota Rule 3525.2340 Case Loads Subp. 4 clause B)