In response to significant reductions in Portland Public Schools' special-education department,
concerned parents met with school-district administrators downtown last night for a two-hour, kvetching-and-answer session.
The special-education department's budget
was originally slated to include $74.8 million in general fund dollars for the 2010-11 school year. But as the economic storm picked up, PPS amended the budget, bringing it down to $71.5 million. And because of a drop in federal funding for special education (including a drop in stimulus money), the overall budget for special education will fall from an expected $86.1 million to $82.8 million, a drop that required a whole host of cuts to the support staff for special education.
As best I could tell, there was more heat than light at the meeting, in part because special-education services cover so many topics and diverse students' needs. But, full disclosure, I was able to stay for only an hour. To parents who attended the meeting, please share your thoughts in the comments below.