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D-26 might leave SEDOM

Official: Request to withdraw could come in a year or two

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 11:31 p.m. CDT

CARY – Cary District 26 could follow Woodstock District 200’s lead and request to leave the Special Education District of McHenry County in a year or two.

District 200 in October said it will withdraw from SEDOM in 2015, as it does not have any students in SEDOM programs. District 26 only has two students in SEDOM, with one set to graduate this school year, Director of Special Services Jennifer Thomas said in a memo to the school board.

Over the past eight years, District 26 has paid $55,000 to $70,000 a year in administrative fees to SEDOM. Like District 200, District 26 has “tier 1” status, a reduced membership in the special education cooperative.

Also, instead of sending students to SEDOM, District 26 currently has three students attending programs in District 200, which has developed its own special education programming.

“In Cary, we have been on a similar path as that described by Woodstock District 200,” Thomas wrote.

Over the last seven years, District 26 has developed and implemented its own programs to address the needs of its students, Thomas wrote in her memo. That allows those students to be educated with their peers from their home district whenever possible.

Thomas wrote she anticipates District 26 would request to withdraw from SEDOM within one to two years.

According to a letter sent out by District 200, it offered to discount the tuition it charges other districts for taking in their students, because those districts would see an increased administrative assessment from SEDOM.

SEDOM’s imprint has shrunk dramatically in recent years. In May, the district announced it would cut about 50 percent of its employees at the end of the school year, 122 positions in all, because of reduced enrollment and fewer requests for services.

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