District Gets Mixed Messages On Integrating Deaf Students
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 22, 2004
PEORIA, ILLINOIS--The Illinois State Board of Education issued a report earlier this month ordering District 150 to educate deaf and hard-of-hearing students in regular classrooms where they can interact with others their age.
According to Friday's Peoria Journal Star, district administrators moved the children from the Sterling School to regular classrooms in January as the district prepared for its state audit. Three weeks later, the School Board overruled administrators and sent the children back to Sterling, which has an addition that was built specifically for children with hearing disabilities.
The move came after parents had complained to the Peoria Regional Human Rights Authority that integrated settings violated the children's rights to an appropriate education.
School officials are considering moving students that do not have disabilities to Sterling to integrate the classrooms.
The state report also noted that the district has a larger than expected percentage of African-American children in its special education program, and that a relatively small percentage of students with disabilities graduate.
The state ordered the district to submit a corrective action plan to address its concerns by Jan. 14, 2005.
"State: Integrate Sterling students" (Peoria Journal Star)