Filed under DCPS Budget

D.C. Teachers, Parents Rally Against FY 2013 Budget for Public Education

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.

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RALLY TO TELL LAWMAKERS “DCPS BUDGET CUTS HURTS KIDS & PUBLIC SAFETY!”

Join over 100 committed parents, education advocates, and teachers on Monday, April 9 at 12:00 p.m. on the steps of the John A. Wilson Building to express concerns to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. City Council members about the FY 2013 Budget for Public Education that will reduce special education services, increase class sizes and seriously undermine the academic achievements of students in D.C. Public Schools.

Throughout the rally, parents, education advocates, and teachers will urge local legislators to revisit special education, library and media services and public safety issues and exercise their authority to challenge decreases in services for students in D.C. Public Schools.

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WTU President Nathan A. Saunders Speaks Out On The FY 2013 Public Education Budget

There are concerns about the D.C. Public Schools FY 2013 School Budget that will reduce special education services, increase class sizes and seriously undermine the academic achievements of D.C. public school students.

Listen to Washington Teachers’ Union President Nathan A. Saunders discuss changes to special education in D.C. Public Schools on The Mary & Melissa Talk Show.

What can you do to make a difference? Take action for special education and write your local legislators—using both your home and school zip code—to urge legislators to revisit these critical issues and exercise their authority to challenge decreases in services for special education students in D.C. Public Schools.

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Let Your Voice Be Heard: FY 2013 Budget for Public Education

By Boris Chumak

For the past few weeks, there have been alarming concerns from D.C. teachers about the FY 2013 Initial Budget Allocations for public schools.

With some schools facing severe budget cuts of as much as $1 million, D.C. students will lose crucial educators and support staff including special education coordinators, librarians and media specialists.

Related Service providers including school psychologists, SAM coordinators, social workers, speech and language pathologist and school counselors are invited to join WTU President Nathan A. Saunders on Tuesday, March 27 at 4:30 p.m. at THEARC for a city-wide meeting to discuss major education changes to special education by DCPS.

The D.C. City Council will hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 28 at 11:30 a.m. on the FY 2013 Budget for Public Education where WTU President Nathan Saunders will testify to protect and support the interests of D.C. teachers. Share your concerns and describe the impact of the FY 2013 budget on your school and students in a brief survey.

Local politicians—who vote on school budgets, closing of schools and chartering of public schools—must know the damage it is causing to our city’s most precious asset, our students.

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FY 2013 BUDGET FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION:

Fewer Teachers + Larger Class Sizes + Fewer Special Education Services = More Problems

By Boris Chumak

Mayor Vincent Gray’s two percent per pupil funding increase and District funding of IMPACT bonuses included in the FY 2013 budget comes at too high of a price: fewer teachers, bigger class sizes and fewer services for our students.  WTU President Nathan A. Saunders expressed the opinions of teachers on these changes:

The Washington Teachers’ Union is concerned with certain parts of the FY 2013 budget for public education. While we approve of the decision to increase per pupil funding by two percent, we are dissatisfied with the decision to increase class sizes and cut special-education services. WTU believes that reducing special education services and increasing class sizes will seriously undermine the academic achievements of our students while unjustly lowering the performance of our teachers. 

With test scores and academic achievement remaining flat, the District cannot afford to implement reforms that have never worked for our students. An IMPACT bonus at the expense of a student’s achievement is something that no teacher will ever accept. Saunders continued:

We have always supported compensating all of our teachers adequately and fairly and continue stand for conditions that lead to successful students rather than wealthy teachers. 

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