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.
The following is an excerpt from the letter.
This letter addresses the June 30, 2010 announcement of significant cuts in staffing resources for Special Education (“SPED”). These proposed major cuts include an approximate $3.3 million reduction from the previously approved budget for SPED, affecting approximately 20 teachers and 50 paraeducators. At a time when there is a national focus and priority on improving the educational opportunities for our children, these proposed cuts are deeply troubling to us. These cuts disproportionately affect children receiving SPED services, and run counter to the imperative established by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
We urgently request that the Superintendent and PPS Board reconsider their proposal to cut SPED resources. We re confident that there are adequate non-committed resources available in a $654 million budget to cover a potential $3.3 million cut to Special Education. Restoration of this funding will benefit our children and grant relief to parents, PPS staff, and concerned citizens. There is no better investment than providing our children with a quality education. We must all work together to prepare them for a bright future in the 21st century!