by Michelle Sicignano, LMSW
While we institute Core Curriculum standards across the nation, “12,000 special education teachers and aides could lose their jobs if automatic cuts in federal special education grants to states go through” as they are slated to on January 2, 2013. “The White House had already warned that cuts to special education and other education spending would be steep: an 8.2 percent cut to almost every U.S. Department of Education program.”
Again, those that will lose out the most in this scenario are those with the greatest needs, mainly low-income kids and the disabled. Cuts to special education budgets means cuts to Head Start, and the result is that more high needs kids will get even less early intervention, which we know works, and will thus likely eventually get funneled into the mental health system or prison –pipeline or other arrangements which further marginalize them and create barriers to success instead affording the necessary tools to help them reach their potential.
And again I say our systems are interrelated and not functioning effectively for all citizens. We cannot fix a bit here and there and expect things to improve. Early interventions work, yet the first cuts always seem to be to those with the most needs.
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