Last night, Jeremy and I sat in on the school district’s budget meeting. Our school district has 150,000 kids in it, it’s pretty big. The budget for this year is very difficult – as one can imagine, cuts need to be made and lots of people made impassioned pleas about keeping such vital services like buses, magnet programs and media specialists. Lots of people representing different clusters in the county got up and said basically we are asking for nothing, no building improvements, no special programs, we are just asking for no staffing reductions. Everyone is trying very hard to keep staffing in place.
We were there last night to try and save Edda’s preschool program, MPAC, which is run by the ARC of Montgomery County. Edda graduated from MPAC last June and we were sad to see her leave the program. MPAC has been a partner with the school system for over 30 years and was a wonderful place for Edda. Now the school system wants to no longer outsource the preschool program to MPAC, rather they want to create an internal program run by the school system itself. About 20 parents spoke out in support of keeping MPAC open. It was very emotional to listen to 20 parents of special needs kids talk about something important in the lives of their kids. Someone took video of my testimony! More information on Special Needs Truth ’08 blog.