Saturday, February 10, 2018

Proposed Budget Cuts Could Hurt D181's At Risk Population

Tonight we received the following comment asking that we create a free standing post dealing with the impact the D181 proposed budget cuts may have on Special Education. After reading the comment, we have agreed to run it as a free standing post.  As always, SOUND OFF!

"Frustrated said...
Please create a free-standing post for Special Ed.
Under Don White, Special Ed interventions have almost disappeared, and this at-risk population continues to fall further behind. The suggested budget cuts will remove almost all the specialized instruction these at-risk students receive; they already lost writing lab. What's left if they remove academic strategies, reading lab, and math lab?

Statistically, only 15% HMS and 13% CHMS Special Education students are prepared for the next step.
Almost all neighboring districts do significantly better.
• Hinsdale Central Feeders: Butler 29%, Westview 18%, and Gower 15%.
• LT feeders: Highland 33%, McClure 23%, Park 25%
• Westmont 25%
Why are these districts doing to help these at-risk students reach success?
The Board of Education needs to know the true state of Special Ed in D181, and recognize that our special ed students need more, not less, to close the gap.

Does your child have an IEP or a 504? Do you feel part of your child’s IEP team? Do you feel supported?
Are your child’s needs are being met at school? Do you use private tutors and therapists?
Have you resorted to alternative education to help your child close the gap?
Have you hired an advocate? Have you hired an attorney? 
February 10, 2018 at 11:34 AM


Anonymous said...

I recently read through all of the staff comments on the proposed budget cuts. One comment really stood out. A staff member offered up the idea that we, as a district, need to decide what our philosophy is regarding special services. A committee of stakeholders should meet and collaborate to decide how we should address this issue and then we should hire an administrator to fulfill OUR goals--not the other way around. Our current climate promotes escalation, conflict and frustration not to mention the lack of academic and emotional growth and success outlined in the above post. Why aren't we meeting the needs of the most vulnerable students in the district--we are better than that and would be well served by approaching special services with compassion and integrity vs. frugality.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the current special education climate in our district is abysmal for a community who spends so much money, but forcing a district to follow special education law to meet children's basic needs is not a CHOICE. The district and its staff have to fill the goals that have already been defined by federal and special education IDEA and ADA Civil Rights Laws.

No one in the District- staff, parents or administrators themselves can decide what they WANT to do regarding special education services. There are specific federal and state laws that staff and the District MUST follow for children. Stakeholders, staff, parents or the Board of Education cannot simply decide and collaborate on how to "address" this issue. Each child's individualized needs trump everything. Any administrator, regardless of who it is, by law has to fulfill the law according to what the federal and state laws say. Our district's lack of reliance on state or federal funding only further obliges them to follow the law. D181 has no excuse when it comes to following the law because money is not an issue.

It is really surprising that any staff member thinks that there is a choice to cut special education services when the same District is shoveling money hand over fist on Apple computers and a $50,000,000 new school on a piece of paid off, prime property in Downtown Hinsdale. Integrity, compassion and frugality are inherently intertwined in the job descriptions of all public institutions. If we cannot trust our public schools and they are not carful with money paid to them by taxpayers, the institution will fail. After reading the Feb. 19, 2018 post today, obviously this district has ignored frugality and fiscal prudence for far too long.