Parents of special-education students in Portland Public Schools
hold out hope the school district will reverse course on its proposed cuts to programs for kids with learning disabilities.
In a July 29 letter
[PDF] calling the $3.3 million in proposed cuts "disproportionate and damaging," parents and other supporters of special education programs ask Superintendent Carole Smith to make fewer service reductions.
The letter begins:
A spokesman for PPS says the district is preparing a response this week. The School Board won't vote on its amended budget until Aug. 23, after the U.S. House is expected to approve additional stimulus spending
to prevent teacher layoffs. Parents of students requiring special education plan to rally at that Aug. 23 meeting.
District spokesman Matt Shelby says PPS still will spend $1 million more from the general fund on special education next year compared with this year despite the cuts. And David Wynde, a School Board member who sits on the finance committee, also says PPS will remain in compliance with federal minimum standards for special education.
"I certainly understand their concern," Wynde says. "At this point any cuts we make are going to have an impact."