September 1st, 2010 5:33 pm | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools

Parents of Special-Education Students Air Frustrations

PPS Special Education Meeting

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.
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