LRE: DIRECT SPECIAL ED SERVICES IN GENERAL ED SETTING

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Claudine:  Can a classroom teacher provide special education services in the general education classroom?

My son has 45 min weekly of direct special ed services on his IEP to work on requisite learning objectives. The providers responsible are listed as special ed teacher, classroom teacher and instructional aide. I’ve been told that the classroom teacher is the only one providing services. I don’t understand how this is possible in a class of 30 kids and would like to know if it’s even legal.

  1. I work in a school district that employees people worth no special education background or teaching background to work as special education teachers. They say if those untrained special education teachers show a teacher assistant a students goals and accommodations then they are also providing IEP documented special education services. I am a certified licensed special education teacher and I have never heard or been taught that so I would like to know if that is legal.

  2. I am a retired special education teacher and in my surrounding area, there is a huge need for special education teachers. I would like to work 4 days a week as opposed to 5. I have 30 years experience in special ed. I would like to know if in collaboration with the special education teacher, if I work a 4 day a week (M-TH) position, can the general education teacher legally provide the 5th day of services -Friday if I am the one to create adapted materials and review sheets for remediation to be completed on Fridays?

    • Mia, This is great that you want to use your experience to help. I believe the answer will be based on the state’s, & district’s interpretations of the laws, and rules. If you can find a district that is interested in this arrangement, they can reach out to their attorney, or the special education department, or attorneys at the state education agency. Some states have adjusted rules to allow retired educators help schools with shortages.

  3. Is it legal if the Special Education teacher is writing the lesson plans, but the lessons are delivered by classroom assistants who are not trained or licensed teachers? Also, the Special Education teacher or General Education teacher is not in the room for instruction.

  4. Although not common, and not best practice, this is technically legal, IF, If the general educator is doing so in a small group with your child (perhaps with other students as well), and not during whole group instruction. If the general educator is providing the IEP service in the General Education setting, then that would mean she is providing “specially designed instruction” where the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction is changed to meet the specific learning needs of your child, per IEP . The small group instruction would need to be specially designed, and need to be supervised by a licensed special educator. 45 Minutes per week in a small group sounds possible for a general educator, although I also question the delivery model.

  5. Since all three are listed, it sounds more consultative to me. It also means that any of them could provide the services. If you would like it so the special Ed teacher is the only provider, ask to amend the IEP to reflect that. Also make sure the IEP is worded correctly- 45 minutes per week could mean 15 minutes here and 10 there, etc. make sure you specify if you would like 1×45 minutes (one session for 45 minutes) or maybe you want 2×30 instead. If you would like the sessions outside of class that will also have to be amended. Good luck!

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