Funding cut to special education programBy Emily Beckett 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.