Item 1, Operations and Planning
Diane Fazzi was elected as the 2013–14 Chair for the Advisory Commission on Special Education (ACSE) and Gina Plate was elected as the 2013–14 Vice-chair, by consensus.
Ms. Hyla Rachwal was appointed to the position of Student Commissioner for the period of July 1, 2013–June 30, 2015, by motion duly made and unanimously carried.
The ACSE meeting dates for the 2013–14 calendar year were confirmed as follows: August 19–20, 2013; October 30–31, 2013; January 8–9, 2014; March 5–6, 2014; and April 30–May 1, 2014. All meetings are scheduled to be held in Sacramento, California.
Item 2, Standing Committees
The Policy Review and Development and Legislation standing committees independently met.
Item 3, Standing Committees Reports
As reported by Maureen Burness, the Policy Review and Development standing committee reviewed matters related to proposed amendments to California Code of Regulations, Title 5 (5 CCR).
With respect to specific learning disability language in 5 CCR, the ACSE concurred to present the committee’s recommendations to the State Board of Education (SBE) during its consideration of Title 5 amendments and commencement of the rulemaking process, at the May 2013 SBE meeting.
As reported by Barbara Schulman, the Legislation Standing Committee supports:
- S.B. No. 682 authored by Lara on the topic of instructional materials: digital versions; and
- A.B. No. 455 authored by Medina (coauthor: Quirk) on the topic of pupil instruction: special education.
Item 4, Public Comment
Special education advocate, Dayon Higgins (San Diego County), on behalf of Riley Stephan and a student with disabilities, related his experience with being bullied. Further, she spoke to the lack of accountability for nonpublic schools, i.e. implementation of individualized education plans.
Sylvia Youngblood (Los Angeles County), Community Advisory Committee Chair, spoke to the challenges of working with the special education local plan area (SELPA).
Diane Padilla (Los Angeles County), special education advocate, spoke to matters of non-compliance in her community.
Item 5, Educationally Related Mental Health Services
Panel discussion and inquiry was held on the provision of educationally related mental health services in public schools. Panel members included Chris Drouin, Associate Director, California Department of Education (CDE); Ron Powell, Director, Desert Mountain SELPA; Margaret Sedor, School Psychologist, Sweetwater Union High School District; and Ken Berrick, Chief Executive Officer, Seneca Center.
The following members of the public spoke to this matter: Eleanor Castillo Sumi (Santa Clara County), EMQ Families First; Danielle Mole (Sacramento County), California Alliance of Child and Family Services; and Cheryl Rode, Director of Clinical Operations, San Diego Center for Children.
By motion duly made and unanimously carried, the ACSE supports access to Medi-Cal Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) funds by all California school districts to provide mental health intervention and support services.
Item 6, State Board of Education Report
Carl Cohn, Member, SBE and SBE liaison to the ACSE, reported that input from the Policy Review and Development standing committee was valuable to his understanding of how best to support special education at the upcoming SBE meeting as it considers proposed amendments to 5 CCR.
Item 7, Future Policy Development
None at this time.
Item 8, Commissioner Reports
Commissioners provided brief reports on their activities related to the ACSE and their stakeholder groups and welcomed Somer Harding, SBE appointee.
Item 9, Revisit of Unfinished Business
Matthew Stacy was recognized as outgoing Student Commissioner.
Review of the special education master plan, which contains outdated language, was referred to the Policy Review and Development standing committee for consideration.
Item 10, National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC) and Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) Report
Update specific to students with disabilities provided by Kristen Brown, Education Programs Consultant, Policy and Program Services Unit, Special Education Division, CDE. Discussion and inquiry followed.
The following members of the public spoke to this matter: Doug McRae, retired educational measurement specialist; and Jan Mangini, Para-educator, California School Employees Association.
Item 11, State Budget Report
Update provided by Jillian Kissee, Finance Budget Analyst, Education Systems Unit, California Department of Finance. Discussion followed.
Item 12, Organizational Input
Rebekah Acord, California Teachers Association, spoke to CTA’s advocacy and position of opposition to SB 441 (Calderon) and support of AB 375 (Buchanan).
Jane Floethe-Ford, Parents Helping Parents, spoke to encouraging parent-professional partnerships to improve results for children with disabilities.
Item 13, Workability Report
Update provided by Jill Larson, Education Programs Consultant, Special Education Division, CDE. Discussion followed.
By motion duly made and unanimously carried, the ACSE supports consolidation of funding streams for the special education program known as Workability and continuation of current Workability programs included in Governor Brown’s 2013–14 January Budget Proposal, with the caveat that the ACSE firmly believes in the viability of the Workability program and its expansion in the future.
Item 14, Report on the State Special Schools
Update provided by Scott Kerby and Nancy Segar, State Special Schools and Services Division, CDE, on matters related to deaf and hard of hearing infants, toddlers, and students and resources for parents about language access.
Item 15, Report from the State Director of Special Education
Fred Balcom, Director, Special Education Division, provided a report to the ACSE. He spoke to the legislative priorities of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDE) in that they also reflect the ACSE’s priorities. As an example, NASDE believes in 1) accountability for results; 2) a unified system of education; 3) interagency coordination; 4) early intervention and preschool services; 5) working with charter schools and other educational entities; 6) discipline and positive behavior supports; 7) supporting a conflict resolution system as a precursor to due process; 8) qualified personnel; and 9) full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Item 16, Items for Future Agenda
At the August 19–20, 2013, ACSE meeting, it was agreed to conduct a strategic planning session on the first day.
Item 17, 2012–13 Grazer Outstanding Achievement in Learning (GOAL) Award
Presentation by Erin Studer, Executive Director, CHIME Charter School about the CHIME Institute's unique model of inclusive education.
The GOAL award and a $5,000 donation were presented to the CHIME Institute's Schwarzenegger Community School by Dr. Fred Balcom, Director, Special Education Division, CDE; and Kristin Wright, ACSE Chair.
Item 18, GOAL Award Luncheon
The meeting adjourned to the GOAL award luncheon, with the ACSE and GOAL award recipients in attendance.