As a Parent of a Diverse Learner, one of the most important realization I would like to communicate to Parents of Diverse Learners: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
We are all struggling every single day with some aspect of parenting a Diverse Learner. From the "small stuff" such as our child insisting on wearing the same thing everyday, to the "medium stuff" like not having many friends, to the "big stuff" such as getting IEP's followed at Chicago Public Schools, it is all a struggle every day.
Today I am focusing on a "big ticket item" that has to do with the recent WBEZ article that claimed CPS has hired consultants to dramatically decrease Special Education funding. Whether the article is correct/accurate or not, is not for me to say. That is your decision.
However, in response to this WBEZ article, the monthly October Chicago Public Schools Board Meeting was inundated with many stakeholders that were very concered about the accusations put forth in the article. The stakeholders included two different Alderman, a Principal’s Advocate, a Representative from Advocacy Group “Raise Your Hand”, a Special Education Teacher, and many Parents of Diverse Learners from across the city. CEO Claypool and board members also responded to allegations in the article as well.
Although the following Board Meeting Video is about 3 hours long, I prefer to binge watch House of Cards or Madame Secretary. So, I've indicated (under the video) where the speakers focusing on Diverse Learners are featured so you can skip ahead.
As you fast forward through and watch the tears, anxiety, pleas, anger, and frustration of speakers--remember, as a Parent of a Diverse Learner, You Are Not Alone.
Fast forward to the time indicated in the video to view speaker remarks:
38:30: 10th Ward Alderman Susan Garcia speaks on behalf of Diverse Learners
49:25: 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waguespack speaks on behalf of Diverse Learners
55:00: President of Chicago Principals Association Troy LaRaviere speaks on behalf of CPS Principals regarding Diverse Learners
1:57:49: Parent of Autistic Diverse Learner Speaks
2:02:43: Raise Your Hand! Advocacy Group Representative Speaks on Diverse Learner budget cuts.
2:07:21: Parent talks about discrimination of her Diverse Learner Child.
2:20:38: Special Education Teacher speaks about how budget cuts hurt students at his school.
2:27:30: Parent talks about how the OODLES (Office of Diverse Learners) website isn't helpful to Parents.
2:30:30: Parent talks about her Diverse Learner is being sacrificed.
2:33:30: Parent talks about her Diverse Learner transportation issues.
2:36:00: CPS Teacher discusses her dismay about finding a secret document about how to cut costs on special education.
2:49:00: CEO Claypool and various board members react to the WBEZ article, claiming it was "riddled with errors" and defended their commitment to our Diverse Learners.
In conclusion, Diverse Learners Matter!
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