Special education co-op will dissolve by next school year

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 31, 2016) - After more than four decades of service, helping thousands of special needs students, Hancock, Madison, Shelby Educational Services Cooperative will dissolve.

“We are going to take care of our students, no matter what. We always have,” says Eastern Hancock Schools Superintendent Dr. Vicki McGuire.

The co-op has provided staff, training and other support services to students from six area school corporations in Hancock, Shelby, and Madison counties since the 1970’s. This year is served more than 2,000 students. Without the co-op, the schools will now have to decide how they will keep the services, including programming for autism spectrum disorders, emotional disabilities and learning disabilities.

“Are we going to contract services? Are we going to talk to other school corporations to maybe share some services for the special needs area?” says McGuire.

The co-op started falling apart when Greenfield Central withdrew in 2014. Then, Mt. Vernon followed. But, the schools say they will still have adequate funding and won’t have to drop any programs.

“The state and federal dollars that usually go to the inter local will come to us now. So, we will have that funding that we will use to take care of our needs,” says McGuire.

McGuire tells concerned parents that the changes will not be noticeable.

“I really doubt that they will notice anything, because we will still continue with the services,” says McGuire.

School districts won’t be able to hire every specialized teacher they need, so districts may share those resources.

“We are not worried about that at all, because number one it is what we want to do and number two it is the law,” says McGuire.