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Parents, family and friends of children with special needs should be outraged that 40 percent (22 of 55) of the proposed position cuts suggested by the Hall County School Board and superintendent are for special education teachers at the elementary school level.
Over the past five years, we have had the pleasure of working with numerous special education administrators, teachers and therapists within the Hall County school system. Our experience has revealed that there is no overabundance of resources in this area. In fact, the opposite appears to be the case.
We realize budget cuts are necessary, but what message does it send to the community that the largest proposed cuts are in the area that will affect the children with the greatest need? Does it have anything to do with the fact that special needs children are the least likely to speak for themselves?
Studies have also shown that early intervention and education substantially increases a child's ability to become a productive member of society later in life. Our state and federal governments recognize this by allocating more money to schools for each special needs child and by enacting legislation to protect the rights of these children.
Please speak up and let the Hall County School Board know that this is not the right direction they should be taking when they decide how best to use our tax dollars. We may be in a recession, but it is much more economical to invest the money early in the child's life rather than spending tax dollars for the rest of the child's life.
Jennifer and Scott Gibbs