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Posted May 20, 2014

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APS Hosted Special Education Forum on Monday

More than 100 people attended the meeting to learn about the latest ruling affecting state and federal funding for special education in New Mexico's public schools.

Download the presentation from Monday night's Special Education Forum.

Albuquerque Public Schools hosted a Special Education Forum Monday to provide information on the latest ruling affecting state and federal funding for special education in New Mexico’s public schools.

More than 100 parents, teachers and special education advocates as well as a few state legislators attended the meeting hosted by APS Superintendent Winston Brooks and Special Education Executive Director Anne Tafoya.

Carrie Menapace, APS legislative liaison and policy analyst, explained to the crowd that federal grants for special education programs, services and support could be in jeopardy because of state funding cuts dating back to 2009. Topics of discussion included “Maintenance of Effort,” the latest ruling by a federal judge, proposed funding cuts for related services and more (see the presentation).

Read the draft letter to U.S. Department of Ed Secretary Arne Duncan

Menapace explained that APS and other New Mexico school districts face the possibility of additional funding cuts because the state may have violated a federal law that says it must provide special education with the same amount of money if not more from year to year.

In an effort to resolve this issue, Albuquerque Public Schools is asking U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to work with our state to restore special education funding (read the draft letter to the Secretary of Education). We’re suggesting a payment plan that would guarantee that more money goes directly to New Mexico’s schools and students. Restoring these funds could mean pay raises for teachers and other employees; hiring additional social workers, counselors and nurses to work with all students; returning classes sizes to their pre-recession levels; and creating more school choices.

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Concerned parents, teachers and community members can make their voices heard by contacting decision-makers at the state and federal level:

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