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    Friday
    Dec062013

    Human Rights Committee

    The UTP Human Rights Committee advocates equity in all aspects of UTP activities. The Committee engages members and the public in Human Rights and social justice activities designed to empower all public school children and educate teachers and students to accept different cultures and sexual orientations, thus promoting understanding and tolerance of all differences. Therefore, the intent of the Human Rights Committee is to promote positive human relations and improve the education of all students with a focus on equitable access to public education by focusing on the following concerns:

    • A quality education for all students
    • Respect and dignity for all students and teachers
    • Recruitment and retention of a diverse teaching force
    • Education on human/civil rights issues
    • Empowerment of diverse communities to take part in educational decisions
    Wednesday
    Sep182013

    Special Education

    UTP believes that students with exceptional needs must be educated in the most appropriate placement and that many of these children can benefit by instruction in regular education classes. Class size/caseload limits are vital to supporting educators’ efforts to educate these students, and full funding is crucial to the program’s success.

    Appropriate Placement

    UTP believes Individuals with Exceptional Needs should be educated in the most appropriate placement, based on their Individual Educational Program (IEP). A continuum of placements should be available to meet the needs of these individuals for special education and/or related services, including regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. The impact of this continuum of placements must be bargained, especially when the issues involve class size, coordinated planning time, and appropriate inclusion programs. Greater emphasis must be placed on collaboration between regular education teachers and special education staff to improve and expand services to children.

    Special Education Programs: Foundation for Excellence

    UTP believes some children with disabilities can benefit from instruction provided by regular education. The District must comply with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including provisions protecting parent and student rights and establishing eligibility standards.

    Adequate funding is crucial to the success of these programs. Proposed reforms must be fully funded and appropriations must not be diverted to other programs. Reforms should be piloted before full implementation, and all staff should receive professional development – designed and provided by participating school personnel – prior to implementation.

    Special Education Plan Local Committee

    A committee within the District should create the local plan for special education. Composed of 25% administrators, 50% special education teachers, and 25% regular classroom teachers, the committee and the administrative entity of each agency should cooperatively develop and implement the local plan for special education. UTP should provide for the appropriate representation of regular and special educators.

    Caseload Waivers

    Mandated Special Education class size limits/specialist case load for programmatic and funding purposes are vital to ensuring these youngsters high quality instruction and support. All students provided direct service or consultation must be counted within the limits, including students who do not have Individual Educational Programs. These limits should be adjusted to reflect the number of schools a staff person covers, travel time, workload, severity of disabilities, IEP preparation, paperwork and assessments, and related issues. UTP believes waivers to these limits should be issued only in extraordinary circumstances.