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Your Letter to the Legislators could help save Special Ed Funding! HUGE changes if these bills pass!

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Snoutport Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-11 01:02 AM
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Your Letter to the Legislators could help save Special Ed Funding! HUGE changes if these bills pass!
STOP HB2298 HB2304 HB2305

Another budget cut is being balanced on the back of our children. This time the legislature is trying to get rid of the ESD system...the number one support for special education, nursing and education for teens and troubled youth. In Portland the ESD has the classrooms in the jails, the hospitals and they have all the classrooms for behaviorally challenged youths, sexual offenders and predators and they have most of the PTs, OTs and speech therapists that work with the most severely impacted kids with special needs.

One bill will will completely do away with the ESD systems. In Portland 700+ employees who work with the regions most needy and vulnerable kids will be thrown onto the unemployment lines. Their students will be tossed back to other districts overburdened special ed classrooms. Another will cut the ESD budget by 25% next year and 25% the year after. The publicly elected school boards are going to be fired and replaced by appointed superintendents. Again the will of the people is just going to be chopped out of the picture.

Dangerous students who have violent behavior will be taken out of special classrooms and sent back to their neighborhood schools even though their home schools have already said they can't handle them. Sixth grade sexual predators could end up sharing a bathroom with kindergarten kids. Students who have been placed in an ESD class is very often violent. Imagine the lawsuit when some 6'2" angry behavior students attacks some poor little freshman girl.

There are some kids who are too dangerous to mix with the general population. On top of it, if one of these known offenders hurt anyone there will be HUGE lawsuits. Especially since the teacher said they couldn't handle the student, the principal agreed as did the district so they discussed it with our specialists and the parents and EVERYONE INVOLVED with knowledge of this kid has agreed they were too dangerous to be in the public schools. And then suddenly the legislators say it's OK and send them back with no mandated supports or extra help. If that kid hurts anyone it is going to cost the districts millions of dollars in lawsuits. And since everyone already said the kid shouldn't be there, they will lose very single case.

ESD's work like this: in Portland five districts pool similar students in an MESD class. This way a class might have ten students coming from five districts. The district chips in for a slot for their kid. This way they just pay a portion of the costs involved. Without the ESD system each of these districts would have to have their own medically fragile room--a teacher, assistants, nurse, OT, PT, autism specialist, etc. This saves the districts a fortune. These new bills allow the districts to hire people from outside the education system to meet these requirements. Basically it is opening the door for private companies to take over special ed services OR for the districts to have to send the kids to private schools.

Every school district in the state is against this except for three! Here is an article from Medford:

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2...

This sight at MESD has all the info on the Bills in easy to follow posts: http://www.mesd.k12.or.us/comm/2011legislation /

PLEASE write to your legislator and to the Co Chairs of the Education Committee Sara Gelser and Matt Wingard. To find your legislator and for Co Chair Gelser and Wingard's mail and email info go here: http://www.leg.state.or.us/house /

Stop these bad bills!

Thank you for reading. Have a great day.

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