From an article in the The Detroit News:
Detroit Public School parents of severely disabled students are outraged over a plan to reduce summer school programs. The children, many of whom use wheelchairs, are nonverbal and with severe cognitive impairments, have attended summer programming five days a week just like other students, but parents got notice recently that programming for their children will be offered no more than three days a week.... ....The reduction for the most needy students is not unique to Detroit, with Wayne and Oakland counties already implementing changes and Macomb considering doing so next year. The moves are in response to the state reducing the minimum number of programming days for students with severe cognitive impairments and severe multiple impairments.
This leaves me with two questions: Was stimulus money of any help at all to these cash-strapped districts, or was that money used to allow districts to reduce their local spending on special education, as we’ve written about before? (Also, the folks at IDEA Money Watch are all over this. Keep an eye on that blog.)
My second question: It’s hard to believe, but one day school districts may have money again. Will districts, or have districts, add days back to the instructional calendar after shaving them off because of budget constraints? If any Detroit-area parents/educators are reading, please weigh in.
Edited to add: Here’s a story of similar cuts in the Los Angeles school district, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.