Like many school districts across the area, the Beaverton School District recently announced deep budget cuts, with the Special Education budget taking a disproportionate hit. There will be a Budget Committee Listening Session open to parents and community members this week.
Early Intervention Services in Oregon are vastly underfunded, and we need to let our legislators know how important these services are in our families' lives. Even if your child's days in Early Intervention are in the distant past, please consider taking a few moments to remember how important it was to your early days.
In the end it was just green grass and vast, empty buildings. The mass of humanity going about its business; the smell, the bedlam, the shrieks, the love and the drama of human life are gone.
I told my teacher that I had an announcement to make. She gave me the microphone and I said: “I have two things to say. First, I have Down syndrome and second, I am really scared that none of you will like me anymore.”
If you are the parent of a special education student whose services were cut to less than a full school day after turning 18, we would like to hear from you.
Parents, Special Education staff and educators, and concerned citizens have collaborated on a letter to Carole Smith, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools regarding proposed cuts to Special Education.
All the other kids were moving up except Chip, who has Down syndrome. I asked why, and was told he could not move up with his peers until he was walking and self-feeding.
Inclusion is not a legal term. Inclusion is a dream. In this dream all people matter and all people have a contribution to make; a contribution to their family, their school and their world.
The kids would ask, “Why doesn’t she talk?” and I would explain, “Chrystal has something called Down syndrome that means that she grows a little more slowly and has her own calendar for doing things. It’s not a big deal.” And, somehow, it wasn’t.
There are some very important budget and resource decisions being made in Salem that could have a significant impact on services for children and young people with disabilities.