Cutting to an Engorged Bone
The headline is “Districts Cutting to the Bone,” but the interesting item comes at the end:
Like many districts, West Warwick has been bringing back students with special needs who previously were sent to private schools in an effort to both save money and better serve students.
“We’ve brought back about 90 kids in the past two years,” he said. “But when you don’t have an assistant special education director, even though you have 900 children in the district with special needs, and you don’t have an assistant superintendent or a curriculum coordinator or any assistant principals at the elementary schools ….. The point is, we are beyond the point where you look at the budget and are cutting. We can’t even cut the crayons any more. There are no more crayons.”
Nine hundred special needs students? In 2009, the district had 3,657 students total. That means exactly 25% of all students are “special needs.” I’d suggest that either the town of West Warwick would do better to spend its money on investigating environmental toxins or special education has become an inflated measure.
Our state pays nation-leading money for its education system, and it’s only ever gone up, across time. Maybe the bone to which we’ve supposedly just cut is just cartilage. Or maybe it’s a tumor.