Today I write with a heavy heart. The state school my son attended through the fifth grade is being slammed with major budget cuts. It has been going on for awhile but now they are cutting critical programs and firing staff. A friend who has worked there for 27 years was let go. They have already cut the fat now it is time to start chipping away at the bones.
I am told that because it is a state agency there is no federal protection money that other schools get. I don't know much about that but I do know my son's mainstream school is managing to maintain even in this economic crisis. I also know he wouldn't be in that amazing program if it weren't for the staff and programs offered at the state school.
I am told that the birth to three program will be cut. Early intervention provided by qualified professionals is critical the successful outcome of our kids. My son would not be testing above grade level if we did not have a strong foundation with the help of these services.
Some would argue the school needs to shut down. I strongly disagree. The kids at this school benefit from the critical mass necessary to educate them in a least restrictive, natural environment. Social and emotional growth is fostered with deaf adult role models. In some cases the families don't sign so this is a place for them to learn about the world.
If it were possible I would think it would be cool to have the state recognize cutting the already meager budget is counter productive. It is painful to see the school struggle to make the cuts without effecting the kids.
I was thinking maybe the school district could take over the school and the state could continue to cover the cottages and outreach services. The school could become a charter school with guidelines set is place to insure the bi/bi program could continue. Just a thought.