Class Ratios: CLASS SIZE IN MODERATE TO SEVERE SPECIAL ED – CA

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Joy: My son is in an elementary moderate to severe special ed class in California. His teacher is amazing as well as the few para’s involved with students. The district continues to add more students (15). Is this legal? With all the paperwork and services to be provided to even just my son per his IEP how is it possible for a teacher to fullfill the requirements? There are 3 wheelchairs in the class and many disturbing behaviors. The students need help in eating, personal hygiene, and bathroom. Isn’t there a limit to class size for these severe children? It has become more of a “housing” rather than teaching atmosphere.

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3 Comments on "Class Ratios: CLASS SIZE IN MODERATE TO SEVERE SPECIAL ED – CA"

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I have been a grade general ed. teacher of an inclusion classroom in New Jersey for many years.

The number of classified students in my room has increased each year. This year I have 9 classified students out of 21 total students. I have assistance for two periods each day with someone who is certified in special education.

I looked through the Administrative and Special Ed. Code to see if the number of classified students in my room exceeds what the state allows but have been unsuccessful.

I was told if the number of classified students was 10 or higher I’d be considered a 50/50 setting and the district would be required to place a certified special education teacher in the room with me full time.

Is current classroom setting “legal”?

You ask if it’s legal to add more students to this class. You need to search your state law and regulations – that’s where you will find info about number of students in a class and other related matters.

I am a special education teacher in California. My understanding is that the only type of special ed caseload protection is for Resource Specialists (RSP) at 28 students. RSPs typically serve students placed in general education classrooms. Self contained classrooms called Special Day Classes (SDC) do not have protections as per the state. The teachers’ union may have contract language that protects class sizes.

Our union contract protects SDCs (9-12 students). If special ed instruction comprises more than 50% of the student’s day, but the child is not in a Special Day ClassROOM, the district says they are RSP students (28 caseload). Minutes are not met because the child is thrown in a large group so the district can stretch the teacher to save $.

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