Degree Date

Summer 6-2014

Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Vicki Gunther

Second Advisor

Harrington Gibson

Third Advisor

Alison Gordon


In February 2013, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) informed school districts that they were considering changing the rules related to special education class size and the percentage of students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) who can be enrolled in regular education classrooms. As of January 17, 2014, the rules related to special education staffing and the percentage of regular and special education students in classrooms are still pending approval by ISBE (Special Education Today, 2014). The purposes of this project are as follows: to advocate for the maintenance of the current rule while building in some flexibility, to ensure a least restrictive environment with the understanding that no fixed percentage is reasonable, to reflect on situations where severity of student needs demand that students are appropriately educated in an appropriate setting, to maintain current staffing practices, and to retain self-contained special education classes in Grey County School District. All students will continue to receive instruction and support services by highly qualified teachers and other staff. This researcher argues that the special education rules and guidelines in place as of February 2014 should be maintained in order to allow school districts to address the unique needs of their students as well as provide adequate resources and related professional development opportunities.