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School Reform Commission approves new in-house special education program: The District downscaled the proposal after advocates complained, but concerns linger.

July 6, 2017 — Philadelphia Public School Notebook — by Dale Mezzacappa and Avi Wolfman-Arent

The School Reform Commission voted Thursday to establish a new in-house special education program for 100 students, most diagnosed with social-emotional disabilities and now placed in facilities run by Wordsworth. The new program will be run initially by the private education provider Catapult Learning before transitioning to full District control.

The vote, which was unanimous, came after hearing from parents and advocates for disabled students who want a firmer commitment from the School District to work toward educating these students, and others with similar needs, as much as possible in regular classrooms with extra support.

The proposal adopted Thursday is significantly smaller than the original contract with Catapult, which was for $36 million over three years and could have served up to 600 students. This contract is for $10 million over three years and is capped at 100 students.

Read the full article in the Notebook

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