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Elk Grove Unified moving Inclusive Education teachers to different Special Ed positions

"What they're doing here is they are putting a Band-Aid on a large open wound that is continuing to grow," said Brandon Morgan.

ELK GROVE, Calif. — Parents benefiting from Elk Grove Unified School District's Inclusive Education program are voicing their worries due to a major shift with educators.

In a letter, the district announced teachers in the program are being moved to Special Education classes. 

"What they're doing here is they are putting a Band-Aid on a large open wound that is continuing to grow," said Brandon Morgan, a father of an autistic son benefiting from the program's Inclusive Specialists. 

Morgan, a father and husband of a teacher who provides inclusive education, received a letter from the district saying these inclusion specialists would now be teaching Special Education classes, removing them from working closely with students who require Inclusive Education. 

He says it was a shock to parents and educators.

"A lot of parents kind of joined onboard. We kind of banded together and talked a lot about it. We created a Facebook group to figure out some of the nuts and bolts of what we can do to make the district aware that this is not really a viable solution for these kids," Morgan said. 

There are still many questions on how this will work, but in the letter, the Elk Grove Unified School District said, in part, the following:

"The Elk Grove Unified District (District) is committed to inclusive education and serving all students in the least restrictive educational environment. The District is also committed to exploring and designing new inclusive education strategies that will make the most efficient use of existing resources to ensure that every child has access to a free and appropriate educational program."

However, Morgan has a hard time believing his Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be met.

"Where my son's IEP says the Inclusion Specialist is gonna push in twice a month for 30 minutes each. How are these learning center teachers who are constantly teaching groups of kids throughout the day going to be able to meet that IEP goal?" Morgan said. 

There were other parents who didn't want to go on camera for fear of retaliation from the district. Some parents also feared their children could fall through the cracks due to the move.

"Kids who have been highly successful in this model of inclusion may find themselves back in a special day class," Morgan said. 

He is urging parents to voice their concerns with the district, adding that he plans to be at the school board meeting on Sept. 6. He's calling on others to join him.

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