Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cuts to special ed

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"new post: article today in P-G on special ed. cuts

Do the math - 58 teachers plus 14 paraprofessionals = savings of 3.4 million dollars

6 (yes just 6 central office personnel) = savings of $580,857. 6 central office = over a half million dollars. What a pay difference between teachers, paras. and Bellefield!"


Questioner said...

Link to the article:

Anonymous said...

Revised: A few key points (quoted) from last night’s Education Meeting presentation on Special Education for public consideration:

1) Although there are "cuts to special ed" the budget monies have "not changed" from last year.

2) The previous "formula" has also been "abandoned".

3) The "cuts" show a savings of $5 million dollars.

4) The "new program design" is based on "student need, not teacher load" according to J. French.

5) The average cost per special ed student is $24,000 with general ed per student at $21,000.

6) The total budget for Special Ed is about $108 million.

7) There is a "decline in students, but not in staff."

8) The "new program design" will be presented to Principals in August, 2012 for IMPLEMENTATION in August /September, 2012. (!?!?!)

9) There will be 5 "Program Officers" for 9 schools.

10) The "new program design" will be presented to the Task Force on May 3, 2012 for review and feedback

Anonymous said...

Let's add #'s 11 and 12 to the previous list for public consideration:

It was also stated by J. Lippert that there is . . .

11) A "new core curriculum for Special Ed" that also must be followed with fidelity according to directions and sequence. . .

12) Also, there will be "as many as 20 students in a Special Ed class."

Can someone please explain how this fits into a mandated IEP? What happens to individual student needs? How is it possible for a teacher to deliver as many as 20 IEPs at one time? And how can a "special ed core curriculum match an IEP?

Anyone with the answers, please share them.

Anonymous said...

Still reeling at the positive tone of the PG article.

Anonymous said...

Too bad that the Education Meetings are not taped and/or televised.

Questions would abound! Especially, from teachers and parents and even students who surely would not believe what is being proposed.

Dr. Holley and Mark Brentley do their best to question and question again; and certainly, Dr. Holley's knowledge and experienced-based questions are always on point, but, she can only ask so many question before it becomes an exercise in futility.

The Education Meetings are critical as substance for review, deep analysis, questions, responses and critiquing from a very broad audience of those who will be subjected to the consequences.

Anonymous said...

11:05 - Eleanor Chute is not an educator. She takes notes on what she believes is important (and it is) but she is not capable of questioning (sometimes volumes of material) without prior knowledge. Also, she needs to stay on good terms with PPS officials or she will get very little to report. Her job is not as an "investigative" reporter. She just needs an article to publish the next day.

Only an experienced educator (like Dr. Holley) knows what questions to ask. Most Board members do not have enough background to ask questions which is why they sit and just not their heads in agreement.

And remember, if you are not "at the table", as a Board member, you cannot comment or question.

Anonymous said...

Two people (just average taxpayers not closely following pittsburgh schools) have already told me they saw the headline and thought gifted classes are being eliminated.

Anonymous said...

This is all Dr. Lanes BS, she is a nice lady but not capable of leading our district and understanding the needs of a urban district. THis is not IOWA. Some one please help her or ask her to step down so our students will not continue to suffer.

Even Mark Rosevelt would have been better than this. Oh my goodness.

Anonymous said...

what you need to do is CUT OUT some of these high salary administration,to CUT OUT SPECIAL ED what's next are you going to CUT OUT pencil & paper seems like we are headed down that road what's next CUT BACK Special Ed. in Duquesne,Woodlawn Hills, Clariton,School Dist. don't stop now PPS

Anonymous said...

"5) The average cost per special ed student is $24,000 with general ed per student at $21,000."

I would love to see some breakdown of these numbers. It seems impossible for me to believe that there is only a 3K differential.

Anonymous said...

Just a few questions? Is it possible to request that the Education meetings be broadcast via cable Verizon and Comcast so the public can view the discussion? Are the Education meetings noted as minutes and are they posted on the district website like the Legislative meetings?

With all of upcoming cuts, school closures, discussion of changes in special education services, and the delivery of the curriculum would think that the public has a right to know what the school officials and Board Members are discussing at these meetings. Isn't that what transparency is all about? Since parents can't be at every meeting, I would at least like the opportunity to know who said what at the Education meeting.

If anyone knows the day, time and what channel the Legislative meeting and Education meetings are telivised, please respond back on this blog.

Anonymous said...

The collateral damage caused by the assembly of matching funds for the Broad/Gates/TIG grants is off the charts.

Watching from Harrisburg said...

Solicitor Ira Weiss has to be licking his chops: the number of due process cpmplaints will likely increase. Since those hours are all billable over and above the monthly retainer, his firm stands to gain substantially, perhaps even dwarfing the attorney's windfall from the countywide reassessment.

Sometimes it really did and continues to come right down to money and who stands to gain if pps takes a certain path.

Anonymous said...

We need an audit to see if all the grants are/were used for what they were given for. I think Berdnik knew where the dirty laundry was hidden and got out before anything happened.