TUSD Budget Cuts Remove Ex Ed Classes?


Sidney Moyers, Associate Editor-in-Chief

Education certainly isn’t one of Arizona’s strong suits, and with the new budget cuts that will begin next school year, we’re in even deeper financial trouble. This means that TUSD has to cut costs in order to save money, even if it ends up negatively affecting teachers and students.

One of the ways that the district is planning on saving money is by combining Exceptional Education and general classes so that everyone, aside from honors and AP students, are all on the same level. To assist the students with disabilities, there would be another teacher, specifically an exceptional education teacher, acting as a co-teacher, walking around the class and helping everyone along with the main teacher.

In the year 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed, which is an act that assures that students with disabilities will be provided a free education that fits their individual needs. Ex Ed math teacher Mr. Hoogendoorn has 36 years of experience and has been certified for 12 years in helping students with learning disabilities. He thinks that by combining all levels, TUSD would be violating this act.

“I think we would be going backwards,” he explained, saying that it would be a “disservice to students with disabilities.” He worries that kids may ridicule those who need a little extra help, which would make students less likely to ask for assistance and cause them to fall behind. Mr. Hoogendoorn believes that TUSD needs “to cut elsewhere.”

In addition to harming the students, he thinks that the change will also hurt the Ex Ed teachers. These teachers go through years of training and are certainly qualified to do their job, so it seems like they’re a bit overqualified just to be used as glorified assistants.