Saturday, March 8, 2014

Please contact the MDUSD Board of Education and the Superintendent regarding Common Core Funding for Special Education

The one time Common Core funding  plan currently does not address the special education community.  We are asking parents and community members to write to the Board of Education and Superintendent Nellie Meyer regarding this matter as soon as possible.  Please see the supporting information that is prompting these concerns and address your own concerns in your correspondence.
At the last CAC meeting on March 3, 2014, Dr. Kerri Mills spoke on the Common Core Funding needs for special education students.  This is th
  • As of last pupil count, we had 3,679 special ed students in the district, which was 11.4% of the student body.
    We have 117 SDC teachers and 77 RSP teachers.
    At the last Common Core committee I had requested:

  • Under Professional Development
    Separate funds for special education staff, including instructional assistants, in order to provide specialized training.
    2 instructional coaches for special ed teachers and DIS staff -
    1 for students with mild/moderate disabilities
    1 for students with severe disabilities

  • Under the Technology Category
    Computers to be placed in special ed classrooms, to enable the students to develop skills in multiple areas by using them daily; as well as to feel comfortable with the computers to enable them to take the common core assessments successfully.  They need practice every day.  Going to a computer lab or accessing computers on a traveling cart is not practical for students with severe disabilities.
    Each special ed teacher should be given a laptop, projector and printer in order to utilize them at IEP meetings.Under the Instructional Materials Category
  • Software and site/district licenses for specialized software, such as Unique Learning Systems, News 2 You, SOLO software, etc.  This is already listed on the plan, but if funds are allocated by site, this may not be the priority for the funds.

  • Although not all the items listed above can be covered by the one-time funds, there should be a fair allocation of this funding.  There is concern that if this funding is based on site allocation, the special ed students and staff may or may not be considered at each site.  Additionally, there needs to be consistency between sites. If there was bulk funding, we have more of a possibility of getting discounts as well as larger purchases than each site would.  I hope the technology funds out of Measure C will also be accessed fairly for special ed students. (End of information from Dr. Mills.)
Considering the needs of all students is problematic in many places.  Recommendations will be made by site groups who may not have the knowledge of the needs of our special education students. Please consider this in your correspondence.

Please review the Common Core funding plan as presented by Rose Lock to the Board of Education on February 26, 2014 HERE and write to the BOE members and superintendent regarding your concerns in this matter.

Board of Education names and email addresses

Thank you!
Dorothy Weisenberger, CAC Chairperson
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