Thursday, June 3, 2010

L.A. Official Justifies Cuts for Students with Disabilities: Special Ed "Takes Away from Regular Kids"

Many think it; few say it.  Los Angeles Unified School District is closing 200 classes and a campus for students with disabilities.  The explanation from Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines: "You have to look at it in perspective. When you fund some of the special ed things, you're taking from regular kids."

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, to help close a $640 million budget gap, LA is cutting back on a campus for blind students, closing a special-needs center, and eliminating 200 classes.  As in any district, parents of "regular kids" are also not happy -- other cuts are being made to the arts, music programs, and libraries, not to mention more than 1,000 layoffs.
About 13 percent of students in the L.A. school district have an identified disability.  Now more of these students will be put in larger classes, commute farther to school, and in some cases will have no bus transportation at all.

Yes, the city and the state are facing a tremendous budget problem.  But if you agree with me that Superintendent Cortines should not pit "special ed things" against "regular kids," email him at  (The defender of "regular kids" is pictured above.)
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