Her email :
As many of you know, I have formed a special education coalition with other in Oakland to try to see some changes made in the level of service available to OUSD students. Less than 5 years ago, we provided a very high level of support for special education. Now speech therapists have 50-80 students on their caseloads (providing 30 minutes weekly), psychologists serve 10-12 schools (meaning they are only available for testing - often not within a reasonable time) and nurses up to 20 schools.
Although I am fortunate to have wonderful office space at Sankofa, at my other school I teach in a basement storage room filled with boxes from floors to ceiling. Some of my peers have nowhere to teach, and use the cafeteria for instruction.
Special education services need to be insured at the district level and not be dependent on individual site policy. I was only assigned an instructional assistant last week after working nearly half the year without one. A school in the hills had a full time IA for 7 learning disabled students. This is not equitable.
Please consider visiting this site and signing an electronic petition that we have generated. If it is possible for you to forward the site on to others, that would be great. Thanks!!
We have a school nurse, who I think may have been at our school since about 1950 and is great. But it's true about the speech therapists - I have a student who is very difficult to understand and is now seen for 30-45 minutes a week, only when the speech therapist doesn't have other meetings. This is not nearly enough time to see any progress.
We used to have a psychologist and in my first couple of years, I could even talk to her about students who were telling me they wanted to hurt themselves. I believe now she's assigned to our school for 3 hours a week - often she doesn't make it because of some district meeting or another. She's only available for testing kids to see if they are eligible for special ed, and doesn't even have time to do all that.
Please sign the petition.