Chicago Public Schools promises cash payments for families denied special ed services

By: | August 13, 2021

Chicago Public Schools plans to offer cash payments to families whose disabled children were wrongly denied special education services between 2016 and 2018.

The payments to the families of up to 12,000 current and former students could cost the school district as much as $22 million. That figure is based on a WBEZ and Chicago Sun-Times analysis of information provided by CPS on the number of students denied services, what services were missed and the amount CPS says it will pay for each missed service. CPS disputes the figure but did not elaborate and did not provide an amount it expects to spend.

The announcement comes three years after the state found that the school district’s actions were illegal. It had ordered CPS to provide remedies to harmed students. Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ reported that of the more than 10,000 students whom the school district acknowledged were harmed, only 2% had received any remedy, such as free access to new therapies, tutoring or reimbursement for transportation.

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