Ingham School District reduces special needs staffing

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By Kyle Koehler
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

The Ingham Intermediate School District approved a resolution that reduced autism professional staffing, among other educational teams, in order to increase other teams’ FTE (full-time equivalent). Andrew Rable, director of student support services, said this change would happen as the ISD chose to close the Autism Spectrum Disorder staffing.

Susan Tinney, member of the ISD board, presented a plan to “align resources with the changing work of the organization.” This included reducing a few positions and eliminating the administrative assistant position for the Capital Area Career Center.

Of the positions with FTE reductions, the “autism spectrum disorder paraprofessional” team dropped the most, by three FTE. The “autism spectrum disorder classroom teacher” team dropped by one FTE. The positions for coordinator for cooperative acquisitions and instructor for the Computer Science Academy was dropped.

Six new teams have FTE increases. Of these, teacher consultant for autism spectrum disorder, paraprofessional for intensive intervention team, administrative assistant for REMC $AVE, and instructor for precision machining and Project Lead the Way increased the most – each at one FTE. Other position increases include general education transportation routing assistant and paraprofessional for the visually impaired.

The board unanimously agreed to the changes.

Just days after the meeting, Rable reported that “after additional discussions with a local school district about the ASD classroom program and with the support and commitment from a majority of the special education directors from the local school districts within the Ingham ISD service area, the ASD classroom program will remain open. Staff supporting the classroom will stay in their current positions.”

In a separate resolution, the board had agreed to create an increase of .10 FTE for the speech pathologist position based on a request from one of the board’s public school academies.

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