CPSB agrees to make special education cuts

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Parish School Board voted to approve reductions and realignment for the district's special education department.

The realignment of the special education department includes the removal of nine positions. Positions that will be cut include three hospital homebound teachers, one school psychologist, one speech evaluator, one educational diagnostician, one behavioral facilitator, one program facilitator, and one clerk.

Wayne Savoy, Superintendent of Calcasieu Parish Schools, said this decision came after he analyzed the department and found that many of the workers' duties overlapped.

"We realized there might be some responsibilities within the special education department that could be combined," Savoy said.

Savoy added that the nine positions cut within the department could come back at some point.

"With special education and the demands we have, there might be a time when I have to come back and say we need another psychologist," Savoy said. "Should we get into a bind with services that need to be delivered, then we'll have the opportunity to pay them on a supplemental pay roll that we have every year. We have that flexibility in our budget."

Savoy also decided to merge special education with curriculum and instruction to make the two departments stronger.

"They should be together so that there's a true alliance and there's no more real separation," Savoy said.

In addition, CPSB has also approved to cut 49 teachers in Calcasieu Parish. These cuts include 15.5 elementary teachers, 24.5 middle school teachers, and 9 high school teachers.

The projected shortfall with the current cuts is expected to be approximately $250,000.