Proposed special ed cuts upset Calcasieu parents

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Concerned parents in Calcasieu Parish are writing a petition in opposition of the Calcasieu Parish School Board's proposal to make cuts in the Special Services Department.

CPSB is currently seeking to realign the Special Services Department and explore savings generated by consultants working a 182 day schedule. According to the May 10th budget meeting, special education staff could be reduced 10 percent.

A group of concerned parents are gathering signatures from the community in an effort to persuade the school board to not cut the Special Services Department by 10 percent.

Board members argued that there are too many staff members for the amount of students in Special Services. However, concerned parents disagree with the school board.

"These young children require more staffing and more assistance with their schooling," said Melinda Wimbrow, a concerned citizen. "The effects it would have on the special needs of these young people would be awful."

Wimbrow's daughter was taught by a homebound teacher most of her time in high school.

"If it hadn't have been for the home bound programs she would have received no education," said Wimbrow.

Wimbrow is currently fighting with parents that now have students in school that will be affected by the cuts.

The group of concerned parents currently have close to 500 signatures in opposition of the cuts to the Special Services Department. The parents plan to keep searching for more support until the final decision is made regarding the 2011-2012 budget.

The final decision will be made at the budget committee meeting scheduled for June 7th at 4:45 p.m. in the Calcasieu Parish School Board room.