ERIC Number: ED345406
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
A Review of the Eligibility Criteria for Children with Special Needs. Section 78 of Chapter 138 of the Acts of 1991.
Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Boston.
This review of eligibility criteria for students with special needs was the result of a 2-month analysis of the Massachusetts special education law and the current state of education within Massachusetts. The review was intended to examine the original intent of the special education statute, possible reasons for the high number of special education students, costs to the state of the current special education mandates, and the cost savings to be achieved by recommended changes. The following recommendations were made: (1) the statutory definition of a child with special needs should be rewritten; (2) statewide eligibility guidelines must be developed to ensure clarity and consistency across school districts; (3) a comprehensive training program for professionals and parents should be developed to ensure understanding of the new definition and its implementation; (4) a 5-year initiative should be instituted to establish Teacher Support Teams to implement a prereferral system and instructional accommodations within regular classrooms; (5) all professional staff should participate in a professional development program that emphasizes key areas of effective instruction; and (6) a discretionary grant program supporting the mainstreaming of students with special needs should be funded. A bibliography of 49 items and seven appendixes presenting more detailed data on which the report is based conclude the document. (DB)
Descriptors: Definitions, Disabilities, Educational Finance, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Eligibility, Inservice Education, Mainstreaming, Needs Assessment, Policy Formation, Referral, Regular and Special Education Relationship, Special Education, Staff Development, State Legislation, State Standards
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Massachusetts State Dept. of Education, Boston.
Identifiers: Massachusetts; Prereferral Intervention