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Parents Protest, Petition to Halt Cuts to Autism Program in Arlington Public Schools

The Arlington School Board is proposing making $271,000 in cuts to the program.

The Arlington School Board is proposing making $271,000 in cuts to the program.
The Arlington School Board is proposing making $271,000 in cuts to the program.
Parents are petitioning to halt suggested cuts to an autism program in Arlington Public Schools.

The petition reads: 

Don't cut the Autism Program for middle and high school students!

"The Arlington School District is proposing to cut seven staff members from the District's successful Autism program for middle and high school students. The $271,000 in cuts would hurt our children by making it harder for them to participate in regular classrooms with their peers who are not in special education.  Arlington's middle and high school Autism program is successful because the 58 students who currently participate receive social skills instruction from teachers who understand Autism and Asperger's, and direct support from assistants in regular mainstream classrooms.  All students, with or without disabilities, benefit from increased attention and the expertise of the staff.  Cutting more than half of the assistants would undermine the program.  With the number of children being diagnosed with Autism rising, we need to expand, not cut, successful programs. Here is a report put together by parents about the program and its success."

The Arlington School Board is proposing making $271,000 in cuts to the program. The cuts would mean the elimination of seven of the 12 assistant positions.

Dozens of parents showed up at a Thursday night school board meeting to protest the proposed cuts, according to FOX-5.

The school board says they will work with parents to address their specific concerns before the final budget is approved on May 22, the TV station reported.


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