Archived Story

Funding cut to special education program

Published 7:18pm Friday, August 3, 2012

“Clanton Middle School has a transportation program of their own,” he said. “They utilize what personnel they have.”

Hayden said he is unsure whether a solution will be found and put in place by the time the 2012-2013 school year starts.

School employees, parents and business owners involved with the program are hoping to find an alternate route by that deadline, even organizing an open meeting with board members at the Grand Ole Café in July to discuss the issue.

“We’re just trying to see if there’s any other way or if some funding has been overlooked,” said Phillip Davis, manager of Associated Foods and program partner. “This is beneficial to the community and especially to the kids.”

Davis said the program has brought students to his store for more than 10 years.

Davis’ store isn’t the only place students have received job training and experience. Others include Pizza Hut, Subway, Little Caesar’s and Dollar General.

Sabrina Cooper’s son, Patrick, was in the program for about four years before he graduated in 2011.

“It gave him a sense of independence,” Cooper said. “That program kind of broke up his day and gave him a chance to be with peers of his own abilities.”

Cooper said her son made a lot of friends through the program, and it made him feel important.

“Some of these kids have actually gained employment from doing this,” Cooper said. “I hope one day for [Patrick] to have a job.

“He considered that his job. It gave him importance, and that’s part of education.”

Cooper said she plans to attend the next Board of Education meeting, along with other supporters of the program.

“It’s left us all in a bind,” Hayden said.

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  • Rickey

    It never ceases to amaze me that when programs get “cut” Education is ALWAYS near the top of this list. Education is a life long process and programs like the one mentioned is but a mere step in that direction. The cost of education will never be greater than the cost of ignorance!

    (Report comment)

  • freedomofspeech

    Sometimes you have to find a way to fund certain programs and not worry about saving money in the long run. This program is greatly needed.

    (Report comment)

  • Katherine Reece

    This is one of those programs that would obviously save the government money in the long run.

    (Report comment)

    • tenfold

      Believe it or not, in rare instances, it’s not about saving money. You should talk to the families of these children and find out what they think. These kids are taught life skills and skilled trades, where some of these opportunities may never be available if not for this program.

      Yeah…I could see where it could save money too. However, the government wastes plenty of money elsewhere and could cut some dead weight in the form of “stale” employees. Check the county’s adequate yearly progress (ayp)…you can easily find budget cuts elsewhere.

      (Report comment)

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