Parent: There it was — in print. The new Superintendent wrote in his message to the whole district that special education was taking funds meant for general fund programs. My heart sank. My child and thousands like her were positioned as the ‘taker of funds’ and not a part of the school community. My child is a general education student first, then a student who needs additional services and supports in order to learn. This was just one more example of how my child, and others like her, are segregated socially. The segregation or separateness is social and physical and affects how our children see themselves and how others see them. If our children were taught from preschool that their peers who act, think, learn, move differently belong with them, then our general community, workplaces, housing, city planning, higher education would be full of people who had experience being around individuals with disabilities of all kinds.
During #GlobalDiversityAwarenessMonth and all year round, California State PTA has position statements and resolutions that give us authority to act on behalf of special education students and families:
Then, Take Action…
We recognize that each PTA and school community will have different solutions, but these are great places to start:
- Participate in your school and district Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) process and actively advocate for special needs programming. https://capta.org/resource/seasons-of-lcap-development-and-engagement/
- Learn about ways to support Special Education Families and why you should consider including a Special Needs Committee as part of your PTA Board https://capta.org/focus-areas/education/special-needs/
- Use the California State PTA Position Statements and Resolutions as you do studies of local legislation that impacts special needs families. If you need support in this process, reach out to your Council or District Board and they can support you.
During the Back to School Season, help families of special needs students with transition by sharing these tips (available in six different languages) https://capta.org/focus-areas/education/special-needs/tips-for-parents-of-students-with-special-needs/