Wednesday, February 17, 2010
In Education Vote, Politics Wins; Kids Lose.
If you've followed my blog over the past few months, you've read about the proposed budget in Montgomery County, Md., that would eliminate a proven program for preschoolers with disabilities, replacing it with a flawed, experimental program that was created without the involvement of parents or the county's partners who have successfully provided these services for 35 years.
Parents vocally expressed their opposition to this plan. Many pointed out that Superintendent Jerry Weast blatantly violated a Board of Education policy that new programs must be presented in time to be reviewed -- before showing up in a budget.
Today, the members of the Board of Education unanimously approved that budget.
Unanimously, they voted against a proven program that parents have relied on to give their children a chance to succeed.
Unanimously, they told parents of special-needs children that they do not value their opinions and experiences when making major changes to the services the county offers.
Unanimously, they told Dr. Weast that he can unilaterally create, change, or shut down any program he chooses -- and they will rubber stamp his decisions.
Unanimously, they threatened the future well-being of our county's youngest and most at-risk children.
UPDATE: I've created a Facebook group to encourage people to ask Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett to overturn this decision and preserve MPAC's services for children who need them. Before March 1, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his office at 240-777-2500 and urge him to overturn the realignment of preschool services and to preserve MPAC.