We Demand That OUSD Properly Fund Our Special Education Programs NOW!
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The special education programs; Inclusion, Resource & Special Day Class, in Oakland Unified School District are in deep trouble. Children are suffering and being left behind. While this is most tragic for special needs children, this situation is impacting every child in OUSD.
Our special education programs are not being supported or staffed sufficiently by the district. This has resulted in system wide non-compliance with our special education students’ IEPs & 504s (contracts that detail the essential services that are to be provided to children who need extra support to be successful). The special education teams are doing the absolute best they can with the subpar resources they have been given, but this cannot continue. Not only is it a violation of federally mandated IDEA laws it is a violation of our core mission and values.
Special education programs are an essential component to an education system. For instance, we believe that a properly supported inclusion program serves the whole community and makes education better. It improves the quality of education by bringing innovative and differentiated teaching strategies in to the classroom among many other benefits. It also allows our children real world opportunities to learn and practice empathy, inclusivity, and embracing differences.
On the other hand an inclusion program that is not properly supported, which is the current state we are in, is an absolute drain on resources for everyone. Everyone, including non-special education students suffer. It is unfair and an outright injustice for all students and all educators alike. Many of our special education programs are out of compliance. Many general education classrooms lack adequate support staff to serve their special education inclusion students. These classroom teachers are expected to do the job 2-3 people with different specialties. This is not sustainable. Until now, the District has not addressed this situation. We must to continue to put pressure on them to do the right thing and fund special education across all of OUSD.
Join the Joaquin Miller Elementary PTA Board, PTA, and community in demanding that this situation be addressed and rectified immediately!!
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