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Davenport School District meets state imposed deadline for special education

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- During their meeting Monday, April 22, Davenport School Board members got a report that they had met a state-imposed deadline to correct more than two-thousand individualized education plans.

But some parents say those plans were remedied properly.

"They're trying to make it look like they made a goal like they've fixed all the problem with the individual IEPs," says Kari Dugan, whose daughter is a Davenport special ed student. "But they've forced that goal through by doing poor evaluations."

Several parents during an open forum called on the district to do more and to be more transparent about how they're addressing special education issues and concerns about disproportionality, or disproportionate rates of students of colors being suspended and expelled.

"I think this is another example where the district is looking at this process as box checking and not making deep and meaningful substantive change," says Gina Hale, mother of another student in special education.

School board president Ralph Johanson says, if plans hadn't been addressed properly, the state adviser, AEA and superintendent would've notified the school board.

"It's too bad that people take that kind of a negative position and put it onto something that's really great," Johanson says.

School board members say they'll start holding meetings to discuss how to continue improving special education and how to address disproportionality.

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