PDE Bureau of Special Education Orders Reforms to Philadelphia SD Special Education Evaluation Process
In response to a state administrative complaint, ELC received a decision that will lead to systemic changes affecting thousands of children suspected of having disabilities in Philadelphia. After hearing increasing concerns regarding excessive delays in evaluating children suspected of needing special education services, ELC filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Special Education (BSE) on behalf of 12 individual students and hundreds of similarly situated students who were denied timely evaluations.
BSE found that the School District of Philadelphia was not properly identifying and referring many children in need of special education evaluations. Even when children were properly referred, BSE found that students were not evaluated within the required timeframe. As a result, hundreds of children were languishing without the special education services they needed.
BSE ordered the district to put in place new policies and procedures, monitor data to ensure timely evaluations, and provide necessary compensatory education services to individual students impacted. These reforms will ensure that children with disabilities receive the services they need in a timely manner.