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Special Ed teacher qualifications & realignment
Write-in "Doug Mann" for School Board
Another Option for Minneapolis School Board Voters (2004 General Election)
by Doug Mann, 29 Oct 2004, Submitted to the Star-Tribune for publication 28 Oct 2004

Subj:      Special Ed teacher qualifications & realignment
Date:     7/16/2004 3:21:35 PM Central Daylight Time
From:     Socialist2001@cs.com (Doug Mann)
To:     Joseph.Erickson@mpls.k12.mn.us, Judith.Farmer@mpls.k12.mn.us, Sharon.Henry-Blythe@mpls.k12.mn.us, Audrey.Johnson@mpls.k12.mn.us, Colleen.Moriarty@mpls.k12.mn.us, Dennis.Schapiro@mpls.k12.mn.us, Ross.Taylor@mpls.k12.mn.us
CC:     mpls@mnforum.org

I counted 436.6 teachers positions for special education programs in the budgets for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. How many of the teachers filling those positions will be laid off as part of the realignment process?  My guess is that upwards of 100 special education teachers have been fired so that the district will be in a position to rehire all of the  elementary teachers who were excessed and / or fired.

It is not enough for a teacher to have a special education license to teach special education students. Specialized education and training is also needed to adequately meet the needs of the students. (I am looking into the law and
court decisions related to this issue) And it is likely that many of the teachers who will be reassigned to special education will not be fully qualified.

If fully qualified special education teachers are replace with less-than-fully qualified special education teachers, as is currently the plan, the district runs the risk of losing about 20% or so of the revenue it is planning to get for special education services in fiscal year 2004-2005. The district would also have to eat the cost of training teachers who are likely to be in special education positions for only one to 3 years (until they retire or bid out).

I urge the Minneapolis school board members to consider other options. I urge the board to follow the law and the teachers contract along the lines I proposed in a draft resolution which can be seen at
http://educationright.com/id349.htm

-Doug Mann, King Field
www.educationright.com