Funding cut to special education program

Published 7:18 pm Friday, August 3, 2012

As funding is cut, staff and programs are inevitably cut also at schools throughout Alabama, including Chilton County.

On the cusp of the new school year, the cuts might continue.

A local program called the Chilton County Transition Program, or Job Training Program, is in danger of dissolving if a feasible solution can’t be found to fund it.

The program is part of the Chilton County Special Education Program. Since 1989, it has provided services to special needs students from all six high schools in the county.

The program includes two classes and is located on the LeCroy Career Technical Center campus in Clanton.

Students enrolled in the program are transported on buses from their home schools to the career tech center, and then to various job sites around the city.

Three weeks ago, problems arose when the state contacted Chilton County Schools Superintendent Dave Hayden and informed him that the county would no longer receive funding for the bus routes and teacher aides needed for students in the program.

At its July 17 meeting, the Board of Education approved to relocate the four job coaches and the special education teacher at the career tech center to other local schools with staff needs.

“Due to funding cuts, we had to make some adjustments,” Hayden said. “This will save us from having to hire people for the other positions.”

One potential solution, Hayden said, is for schools to operate the program in-house, meaning the students would not go to the career tech center anymore.