Posts tagged "principled pushback"
January 10, 2013
Principals are pushing back against the Department of Education’s plan to seize money from schools whose special education students narrowly miss a bureaucratic cutoff.
Responding to the concerns, department officials said they would issue new guidance to principals that clarifies the department’s commitment to funding special education programs adequately and helping schools keep their budgets stable.
The confusion followed a change in the way the department allocates funds to schools this year as part of a reform effort aimed at helping students with disabilities. The change created tiers of funding levels: The more time special education students spend in classes mixed with general education students, the more money their schools get.
Many principals are finding out for the first time this week, because of a deadline to clean up special education data, that students they thought would bring in a higher rate fall into a lower tier instead — and the department could take back the difference in funds.
“The last-minute data capture has left us scrambling to account for potentially massive cuts to our budgets halfway through the school year,” 20 principals wrote in a letter to Chancellor Dennis Walcott today. “And it is because of our strong commitment to flexible programming and the other cornerstones of the Special Education reform that our cuts will be so dramatic.” (more…)