Don’t cut teacher aides


“I wish I had kept the copy of the letter I wrote in the 80s regarding the education board’s decision to cut aides – and here we go again, their positions are once again on the chopping block! My question is this, why do our children with special needs, be it any type of special needs, be the ones to suffer the consequence. They need the addition tutoring, one-on-one attention, whatever to get through today’s curriculum which, as I see it is much more complicated than when I was in school.

And now, again, you are taking away the help that could afford them a success in school and perhaps give them the pride in getting a “good” grade and graduate with their class. Why?

Other school districts are now going to the “pay to play” for sports. Escanaba has this for hockey and baseball. I’m not sure about all the other sports. I know that gymnastics has been cut. Why was not all sports programs looked at for making cuts instead of aides?

Everyone in the school system deserves a fair and equal education. Is this not a state mandate and/or law? I’m wondering if offering sports is a state mandate or law? All students, even those with special needs deserve a full education, even if they need assistance or some sort of accommodations, this must be provided, this is mandatory per Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

I’m beginning to wonder if any member of the Escanaba School Board has a family member with special needs – do they know the issues that are dealt with as these children go through school, besides the social, it’s also the learning issues! You must reconsider what you are doing to future graduates that will be out there in the “real” world looking to be employed and paying taxes like the rest of us.

They need us to stand up for them now.

Linda Mason