Budget cuts create challenges for next year’s special education program

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By Jennifer Bis
Mason Times staff writer

Photo by Clark Ramsey

The Mason Public Schools administration grows more concerned about funding for special education programs and the $240,000 budget cut for the 2011-12 school year.

“Our ultimate goal is to make sure our students meet all the objectives we have set in our plan for education,” said Deb Disbro, director of special education in the Mason Public Schools District. “A big part of that challenge will be managing personnel so that services can be provided in the most economically responsible way possible with the budget cuts.”

Disbro expressed her concerns at the school board meeting on Tuesday, March 8.

Her presentation about the overall program involves 392 students in the Mason School District.

“We need even more focus on students who are really struggling within the program,” said Disbro. “Those who require more attention need to be placed in more reading classes across the board.”

Teachers will be screening at-risk students, and will give their input and assessments to administration. Students who need that extra push will be enrolled in more reading classes.

One way the school district will be dealing with this challenge is by cutting field trips.

“We will reduce the amount of field trips in the program as much as general education,” said Disbro. “Although, moderate to severely handicapped students will continue to have more field trips due to the fact that they need the outside and real-life experience at a greater level.”