Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Tuesday, February 8th, 2011
Not sure how many of you follow the news in Utah but last night an article was posted on KSL.com about the potential closing of Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind (USDB) due to budget cuts. You can see the article below.
Whether I am attending USDB next year or not, there is no denying that I have made great strides in the short time I have been attending the preschool program. Although the local school districts no doubt have great special education programs, my parents can't imagine any other program that can come close to the one at USDB for children with hearing loss.
Schools for deaf and blind may be cut from education budget
February 7th, 2011 @ 6:08pm
By Marc Giauque
SALT LAKE CITY -- A legislative appropriations committee on Tuesday will talk about closing the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind, as well as several other options as they look for ways to further trim the budget.
The proposal doesn't sit well with parents whose children attend these specialized schools.
The idea would be to shift the services currently being provided by the schools to individual districts. It's one of the items being floated by the Utah School Board as it tries to find a way to cut $20 million from its budget.
"We made many recommendations before this one was made," said School Board Chairwoman Deborah Roberts, "but we still have a lot of session left."
"Some very good, very important things may be left by the wayside. That is the reality of not having the funding to do the things you need to do." -School Board Chairwoman Deborah Roberts
Roberts said a great deal of study would have to be put into the idea before any real action was taken.
But Roberts also said they have to look at all options, as they've been tasked with ways to further cut their budget. "None of these cuts are good," Roberts said. "None are wise. "
Many parents of students attending these schools are concerned about the future of their children's education.
"This is my kid and this is my child's education that potentially they're going to flush down the toilet," said Heather Frost, whose son attends one of the schools.
Frost believes it simply would not be cost effective for the district to pick up the services the state school currently provides. "How are they going to provide orientation and mobility, audiology instruction, ASL (American Sign Language) instruction, expanded core curriculum, interpreters or brail?"
The program has been dealing with some in-fighting over how hearing-impaired students are taught. Some of that battle has risen to the level of the School Board.
Roberts said that has weighed on some board members' decisions to take a second look at the program -- but she said if the Board has to make further cuts, they simply have to return to the core of what they do. She said that means providing the state curriculum for all K-12 children.
"Some very good, very important things may be left by the wayside," she said. "That is the reality of not having the funding to do the things you need to do."
Peyton Nicole Smith