Thursday, January 14, 2010

Video Highlights: Testimony Against Plan to Displace Special-Needs Preschoolers

At the Jan. 13 Board of Education hearing on the proposed FY11 budget, 23 of 29 people who testified were parents and advocates opposed to the realignment of preschool services for children with special needs. Here's what a few parents said. (See previous posts for more information.)

Polly MacLaine Pont: "Universal approach will mean lower-functioning students will benefit less....Even the best programs go through learning curves, but we should not make our kids suffer from those curves."

Amy Kim: "Plan lacks experience and understanding. A critical time for our youngest learners."

Lyda Astrove: "A one-size-fits-all model will not work for children with disabilities....It is not too late to reverse this disastrous course that has been pushed on you by the superintendent. Listen to your teachers and parents, and bring back the full continuum of services for students with disabilities."

Bob Allnutt: "Concept of inclusion is popular and politically correct, but the fact is many children are incapable of learning in a typical environment."

Laura Schweitzer: "Elementary school setting is overwhelming and ineffective for 3-year-olds....I don't know where we would have turned if MPAC had not been an option for us."

Doris Lee: "The school board is trying out an experiment on the most vulnerable children. Students like my child can't afford a lost year as the county works out the kinks of a new startup, or even a few months. 3- and 4-year-olds will be lost in the shuffle."

What do you think? Let board members know by emailing or call 301-279-3617.
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