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Elk Grove parents rally against possible trickle-down effects of Inclusion Specialists move

Some parents and educators are asking for better solutions.

ELK GROVE, Calif. — The Elk Grove Unified School District's (EGUSD) Inclusion Specialists who serve children with special needs are now serving in other roles.

In a third protest, parents demanded the district stop moving forward with its remedy to fill empty teacher positions. They say children who benefit the most from these Inclusion Specialists are missing out on a top-notch education, but that's just the beginning of what they describe as a trickle-down effect. 

"It makes me a little stressed and worried to think about where is this district heading," said Erin Somers, parent of two students at Elk Grove Unified School District. 

About a week ago, the district started their implementation of shifting their Inclusion Specialists to other Special Education positions. 

"Being a parent of a child with the Inclusion program this is a big change. My son has been with the same inclusion specialist since Kindergarten and he's in 3rd grade now," said Brandon Morgan, father of a son with autism and husband to a now former Inclusion Specialist.

He's also a leader of the EGUSD 'Inclusion stays page,' which has reached more than 700 supporters. They're protesting for a third time in front of the district before a board meeting Tuesday night. 

"We're calling for them to restore the Inclusion Specialists positions back to their previous post and then allow for public input in like a 90-day period to kind of assess where things are. And ideally, if they still need to make that change, that would at least give ample for staff and parents students who are impacted to put additional supports in place," Somers said. 

According to the presentation on Tuesday night's agenda, 32 teachers were serving as inclusion specialists. Of those 32, 26 teachers were assigned to elementary schools. 

ABC10 reached out to the district to ask how the process is working, but did not hear back by time of publication. 

Earlier this month, the district responded by saying their priority is to make sure students have teachers in the classroom, but parents and educators plan to make their voices heard. The presentation won't be shown until after public input. 

"We've been told that the only dialogue that will happen is between the Board and the administration, so we're hoping to use the public comment period to dissect the presentation in advance and hopefully influence the board to ask some of these tough questions, which is really the goal here," Morgan said. 

Morgan, other parents and educators who feel the same way are asking for better solutions. Many say they moved here because it was supposed to be one the best school districts, and that's what they expect. 

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Elk Grove parents, teachers call out school district over inclusion specialists

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