State says Macon charter school falling short on special-ed services

State criticizes Cirrus special ed services

A state report says Macon's Cirrus Academy Charter school is short-changing its special-needs students.

According to the state Department of Education report, they've asked Cirrus to report back to them this week on whether they've got staffing in place to provide services for those students.

The state's March 31 report says it came after a complaint filed by three staff members about special education at Cirrus.

State rules say schools should provide individual education programs listing goals and support services for special-needs students. 

"It is clear that students were not receiving all of their special-education as listed on their IEP," the state report says. "There was not enough staff to implement these required services."

Cirrus had just two special-ed teachers for 27 students across nine grade levels, the report says.

Although Cirrus told the state that it's hired more staff to provide special-ed services, the Department of Education asked for a detailed schedule of services and staff by April 21.

The school says it's also providing Saturday sessions this spring and summer-school services to help special-needs students catch up on services they've missed.

The state ordered Cirrus to notify the parents of its special-needs students that they were violating federal and state rules and are required to provide extra services to students with IEP.

The school could lose federal and state funds for special education if it doesn't follow through on the state requirements, the report says.

Cirrus opened its doors in August.

As part of its response, the charter says they didn't know how many of their students required special services.

They claim that the Bibb County School District and the now-closed Macon Charter Academy were slow to provide records on many students.

We reached out to Cirrus Academy Charter School for comment on this story, and their attorney Buddy Welch sent us the following statement. 

"Cirrus Academy Charter School received notice from the Georgia Department of Education that a complaint had been filed concerning the provision of certain services to certain students at the Academy. The Complaint was thoroughly investigated by the Academy’s legal staff and reports were filed with the Department of Education. During the investigation, certain matters came to the attention of the Academy’s Administration and the Administration began corrective actions. The Academy has received the Georgia Department of Education’s findings and directions. The Academy’s staff and attorneys are working hand to hand with the Georgia Department of Education to resolve all issues. Each Academy student will receive the services required and the Academy will comply with the directives of the Georgia Department of Education."

Corrected Cirrus Snow Resolution 4-4-17 by 13WMAZ on Scribd

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