By Boris Chumak
On April 9, scores of parents, teachers, and community leaders rallied on the steps of the D.C. City Council to oppose the FY13 Budget for Public Education. The budget threatens to reduce special education services, increase class sizes and seriously undermine the academic achievements of D.C. public school students.
During the rally, Councilmember Vincent Orange noted that the removal of librarians, media specialists and special education coordinators is unacceptable. Councilmember Orange has always been a strong advocate for D.C. teachers and last month introduced legislation to reimburse teachers who were unjustly furloughed.
Councilmember Phil Mendelson also joined the rally and told the crowd that as a D.C. parent, he is gravely concerned about the consequences of removing special education coordinators, librarians and media specialists from D.C. schools.
While the rally is a step in the right direction, much work remains ahead. D.C. parents, teachers and community leaders must urge legislators to revisit these critical issues and exercise their authority to challenge decreases in services for special and general education students in D.C. Public Schools. Removing special education coordinators, librarians and media specialists at the cost of student achievement is something that no D.C. parent or teacher should ever accept.