Austin parents have rallied around several AISD schools slated to be closed in order to cover budget shortfalls. School closures are only a fraction of the challenges AISD faces. Budget cuts to Special Education services loom large as well.
TONIGHT IS A CHANCE TO BE INVOVLED. There is a school board meeting tonight at 7:00 (see location below). AISD Special Education budget cuts will be on the agenda. Parents and concerned community members can attend a rally before the school board meeting starts.
What: Education Austin Rally for Special Education
When: 6:30 Rally starts
7:00 School board meeting public comments starts
Where: CAC School Board Auditorium
1111 West 6th Street
Austin, TX 78703-5338
School board trustees need to see the faces of the people that will be impacted by the job cuts the district is considering. This includes students and their parents, teachers, and some of the unsung heros of special education classrooms district-wide: Teaching Assistants.
More notes on threats to special education services courtesy of Gerard Jimenez concerned parent and advocate:
Please help AISD save staff for our kids!
"The special education department has done what they can to keep as many staff as possible but they are now forced to propose that 56 Special Education teachers, 17 Special Education professionals, 7 Special Education administrators, and 97 teachers assistants be eliminated. It's almost unbelievable. The trustees are the ones who will make the final decision on all of this. It's now time for the community to let the trustees know that we don't want to lose so many valuable special education staff that are so important to our students. Please plan on attending the school board meeting to support this effort!"
"There is no doubt that the quality of special education in AISD will be diminished if the proposed number of staff giving direct support to our students are eliminated...we need people to show up [speaking is not a requirement] to demonstrate to the school board that we care about the quality of education our children receive. If you can find at least one hour to support this effort you can make a difference!"
Show the school board the human impact of the job cuts that they are considering for approval Monday night. E-mail them TODAY!
TELL THEM ABOUT HOW AISD'S BUDGET CRISIS AFFECTS SPECIAL EDUCATION AND YOUR CHILD.
Please give the school board member your name, your child's name, and the school your Special Education child attends. Above all, WRITE TODAY, BEFORE THE BOARD MEETING 7:00PM! E-mail the board member who represents your child's school at the e-mail address below. You should also consider directing identical e-mails or letters addressed to Annette LoVoi, Place 8, and Tamala Barksdale, Place 9, who are at-large members. Since the e-mail address for all trustees is the same, you might want to put:
ATTENTION: _______________ and the appropriate trustee's name in the subject
line of your e-mail message.
Contact Info for AISD Trustees
Physical address: 1111 6th Street
Austin, Texas 78703
Email address for all AISD trustees: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oak Springs ES
Pecan Springs ES
Eastside Memorial Global Tech HS
Eastside Memorial Green Tech HS
T.A. Brown ES
Walnut Creek ES
Vincent M. Torres
Highland Park ES
Bryker Woods ES
O. Henry MS
Barton Hills ES
Pleasant Hill ES
St. Elmo ES
Travis Heights ES
Oak Hill ES
Sunset Valley ES
My name is Sally Smith and my daughter Becky is an eight year old girl with XXX Syndrome who attends [NAME] Elementary. She is in the Life Skills class and spends a great deal of her day in an inclusion class with other typically developing 2nd graders. She has a communication device for school and social interactions but she UNABLE TO ACCESS IT WITHOUT SUPPORT. She also cannot walk, sit/stand, use stairs, hold a pencil, or eat without assistance.
This is a child who is NOT in a wheelchair, NOT medically fragile, but who would NOT be able to attend school safely, functionally, or with educational success without adequate staffing. I have agreed not to push for a one-one aid because teaching assistants provide the support she needs. She can learn and contribute to her community when she is given the right environment: appropriate student/teach ratios, high quality special education teachers, and competent district administrators.
Our school may or may not face cuts but I speak on behalf of AISD parents who may not know what critical cuts are ahead.
Please keep children supported at school. It is the ethical, moral, and legal thing to do.
Attached is a photo of my children during our most recent visit to the Capitol to advocate for essential services for our children.