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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Budget cut? What affect is it having?

Budget cut? What affect is it having?

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New York's Governor is withholding millions in school aid to localities; NYC cut my school's budget mid-year last year and is doing it again this year. Last year we lost our music teacher and after-school programs were cut. This year almost every department has lost a position, after-school programs have been curtailed, money for trips is gone (students pay the whole cost except for transportation now), teachers got $150 for supplies this year compared to $225 last year, and more cuts are coming. Is your budget being cut? What effect are the cuts having on your class, school or program? How are you coping? Do you have any strategies or ideas to share?

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Sally Haines's picture

Our little school district in Salem, MO is being affected big time. I am in a co-teaching position this year with the understanding that we would have a full time aide, who was my aide for 8 years. However, she resigned in Dec. and guess what? They never hired another to replace her. Instead it took 1 month of misery for all involved before the principal gave me another Spec. Ed. teacher's aide, part time. Our classroom has 21 students. 9 have IEP's and 2 more come in for math and writing. Most of the SPED kids have to have the test read and/or paraphrased. This takes forever for any kind of assessment. Next year we are losing more aides and who knows how we'll function but by golly the standards keep going up.

Alice Powell-Brown's picture
Alice Powell-Brown
Elementary Special Education Teacher, Self-Contained (K-5)

Oh boy, they are going from a/b schedule to a 7 day schedule and this is cutting teachers. I have a sc class of 7 to 8 students at a time with 4 different grade levels and inclusion which requires a body to go with them. I am in the class alone with up to 5 students, but I can split myself (sarcasm!). And they are cutting more aids next year. AAARRRGGGHHH! I am in Texas with that crazy governor who didn't accept the money to help us cause he thinks Texas is right.

EMCC's picture

How is anyone getting the support they need from administration in this rough fiscal time? Any success stories

Vincent Ceccacci's picture

At the California Community College where I have worked for 29 years, our Special Ed budget was cut 46%. (We call our programs DSPS, Disability Support Programs & Services.) We cut test proctoring by 50%, & the computer lab by 20%. 8 Special Ed classes were cancelled since August/Fall Semester. We have turned to University Interns, Senior Volunteer Programs & anyone else who will help. Our Governor certainly isn't interested in helping. He started the problems by eliminating a car fee that helped with the budgets for many years. Thank goodness Arnold will soon be termed out, not allowed to run again for "Governator." I bet he's planning his comeback as a grade "C" movie actor/celebrity. I also suggest you look to private Foundations for Grants, such as Bill Gates Foundation & the Ford Foundation. Hang in there & Good Luck. Vince C.

pat's picture
pat
Inclusion Teacher, NJ

We are looking at cuts of sports, possibly guidance counselors, school nurses, as well as a lot of money taken out of our extended school year program. Originally, we were told that 22-25 teachers would be cut, but if we agreed to reopen contract negotiations and freeze our salaries we could help our budgets, and if we truly cared for the children we would be willing to sacrifice!

Suzanne Steelman's picture

Head Start nation wide, enables a collaborative partnership with public schools for preschool children with disabilities. In the long term early intervention for at risk young children with suspected disabilities could minimize additional educational cost. Stronger communication bonds need to be established between public school special services, regional directors, head start and early head start ASAP.

LPS's picture
LPS
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

I taught Head Start for 7 years while I was getting my regular teaching cert. Absolutley, Early Intervention is the Key to more successful students. Budget cuts are impacting all of us. I know our school is going to have larger classes and are expecting loss of 2-3 teachers and intervention specialists, testing coordinators, librarians are gone. Music teachers are being cut, Physical Ed programs for Elem. students are gone. Teacher supplies are cut, office supplies are reduced. We will have to pool our resources. Teachers will be buying more supplies out of our own pockets in order to have what we need for students. I think we will be relying on community to support students. Some districts are cutting teacher salaries in order to keep money for the students.

Allgood OT's picture

Oregon resources for education have been on a steady decline since 1990...I am assigned to a dozen sites with over 100 students on IEPs. Given 180 day school calendar, this requires extensive time in meetings after school as well as very limited time for intervention (as a related service) with students. With dilution of resources, progress is compromised, yet as a nation we are supposed to enact, "No Child Left Behind?" As the numbers of students needing special education services increases, the general education population is declining. This further decreases financial support for students with more complicated scenarios than previously existed decades ago. Administration "shrugs their collective shoulders" when the unlimited staff:student ratio is detailed. Not sure how to proceed? Unless families threaten litigation, no action is taken regarding assignment of allocated funds. The original law for Sp. Ed. defined access to special education services in spite of funds...How can this work? What is the plan of action? Next week I will be meeting with the local Director of Special Education to delineate my concerns, on behalf of students, staff & families~ Typically the reply is, "There's no money for more staff." However, 14.7 million dollars in ARRA funds was designated to our district, with very little investment in infrastructure support.
Any suggestions as to how to objectively, efficiently, & effectively address this situation would be appreciated.

Becky williamson's picture

We lost our assistants this year. The freshmen this year have the worst behaviors. They talk back, won't work, and the administrators don't do a thing. The parents don't either.
I've had it, so I am retiring!

LPS's picture
LPS
Cross Categorical/self-contained - Teacher

[quote]Oregon resources for education have been on a steady decline since 1990...I am assigned to a dozen sites with over 100 students on IEPs. Given 180 day school calendar, this requires extensive time in meetings after school as well as very limited time for intervention (as a related service) with students. With dilution of resources, progress is compromised, yet as a nation we are supposed to enact, "No Child Left Behind?" As the numbers of students needing special education services increases, the general education population is declining. This further decreases financial support for students with more complicated scenarios than previously existed decades ago. Administration "shrugs their collective shoulders" when the unlimited staff:student ratio is detailed. Not sure how to proceed? Unless families threaten litigation, no action is taken regarding assignment of allocated funds. The original law for Sp. Ed. defined access to special education services in spite of funds...How can this work? What is the plan of action? Next week I will be meeting with the local Director of Special Education to delineate my concerns, on behalf of students, staff & families~ Typically the reply is, "There's no money for more staff." However, 14.7 million dollars in ARRA funds was designated to our district, with very little investment in infrastructure support.Any suggestions as to how to objectively, efficiently, & effectively address this situation would be appreciated.[/quote]

I just had this conversation with my SLP because I am frustrated with my OT Who shows up 2x a month and doesn't even work with the kids more than 15 minutes. I am sure she charges out the full 30-60 minutes. Her issue is time as well and she only has 70 kids. I think 12-15 are at my school. I couldn't get weighted vests until 2 weeks ago. I was told there weren't any and no money to get what I needed for the kids. I can't get sensory stuff because there is supposedly no money. It is frustrating for teachers as well. With further budget cuts I venture to say that less supplies will be available. I am very concerned about the upcoming budget cuts with Title I money in addition to State and Federal reductions. Our state is already #49 and they are increasing class sizes. We have the highest population of ELL students per capita. Our district was told that we are identifying too many kids for Self-contained classroom. Guess what?! more kids are being born with disabilities. We may need to educate our High School students about Drug/alcohol/sexually transmitted diseases that cause disabilities. And it means way earlier than 12 years old since useage usually starts right around that age. Ok I'm getting on my soap box so I will stop and encourage you to do whatever you can to fascilitate change. Good Luck. Parents are an important key in seeing change happen.

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