Friday, June 18, 2010

LAUSD Superintendent Replies to Disabled Students Losing 200 Classes

This is a follow up to my post earlier this week regarding the 200 Special Education Class's closing in LAUSD. I have received Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines response to the LA Times regarding his interview and the cover Email that came with it from his office. First is the "form" email everyone received and second is his response to our concerns.

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your email and sharing your concerns. The attached letter was sent to the Los Angeles Times on behalf of Superintendent Cortines in response to a recent article which ran in their paper on June 3, "Disabled students losing 200 classes.." Superintendent Cortines has requested that this letter be shared with individuals that email him regarding this matter.

Thank you.

Nicole Elam-Ellis
on behalf of Ramon C. Cortines
Office of the Superintendent

Cortines Response to the Los Angeles Times:

Subject: RE: L.A. Unified to shutter 200 classes

June 7, 2010
Letter to the Editor
Los Angeles Times
200 West First St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Re "Disabled students losing 200 classes," June 3

Dear Editor:
I would like to provide some clarification regarding my statement in the Los Angeles Times article concerning Special Education cuts, regular students and students with special needs. Students with special needs are special students. I do not apologize for distinguishing between regular students and students with special needs. I think that individuals are quick to take me to task about my statements when if you consider my record, no one has supported the parents and students with special needs more than I have. Thinking outside of the box, I have found a way to support the needs of this student population with minimal disruptions to their overall educational program.
As most are aware, the federal government does not provide adequate funding to meet the mandates of special education laws. I have the responsibility for approximately 618,000 students in grades PreK-12 plus thousands of adult students in our adult schools. So, when I use the word “regular” this does not mean special needs students versus students in our regular education programs. What it does mean is that I am keeping all students in perspective and considering the needs of all.
I understand that it is challenging for parents, teachers, as well as, students themselves. However, if legislation refers to students as special and refers to other students outside of this population as regular, I believe that my word usage was proper.
I do not discriminate. My record supports this.
Ramon C. Cortines
Administrative Office
333 South Beaudry Avenue, 24th
Los Angeles, California 90017 Floor
Telephone: (213) 241-7000
Fax: (213) 241-8442

Lastly, Save Special Education is organizing a show of force protest. The planned protest will be held on June 22nd at noon. The plan is to do the protesting while Board members arrive for the LAUSD board meeting at 1PM. Beaudry Building Board Room, 333 South Beaudry Ave., Los Angeles, CA


  1. Calling one set of children "regular students" and one set "students with special needs" is in itself misguided.

    General education v. special education describes the type of curriculum that students in those categories receive (gifted and highly gifted are under the umbrella of special education!)

    Who is to say what kind of students are "regular"? It's a downright insult!

  2. I read your blog and felt I needed to respond in some way. My children, Jay and Dani, are both considered "special needs" children. Though the situation is different from yours, I thought I should let you know that I appreciate you addressing the issues of our educational system. Their school receives $500.00 a year (total) for all students with their special circumstances.

    We have been fortunate in the respect that our school has an extremely dedicated team; teachers, staff and principal. They, of their own accord (personal sacrifice), have developed an in-depth educational schedule to accommodate Dan and are working on one for Jay, even though the school endured an additional "mid-year" cut of $38,000 (they attend a Title 1 school).

    In many respects I believe the "No Child Left Behind" is leaving behind many. If there is any way I may contribute to the remedy of this situation, please let me know.

    Thank you,

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