CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Tonight is the night. Parents of special needs students are taking their plea Tuesday to the school board and to the new superintendent of CMS, asking why they’re rethinking ‘phasing out’ two Special Ed Programs.
FOX 46 Charlotte’s Jenna Caiazzo was the first to report on why parents are desperate to change the board’s mind.
Ben and Chloe are two children with Down syndrome who have blossomed at a program at Randolph Middle School. It’s one tailored for their needs both socially and educationally.
“I could just see a difference in the type of education he was getting,” Ben’s mother said to FOX 46 Charlotte.
“They have made the kids feel more typical than special,” Chloe’s father explained.
CMS has decided to phase out the Special Education Program Ben and Chloe are enrolled in at Randolph Middle School and Phillip O’Berry Academy.
In a meet-and-greet with the new Superintendent Clayton Wilcox FOX 46 Charlotte had the chance to ask what his take is on the special education programs in the public school system. And while he isn’t familiar yet with the local issue parents are dealing with, he was able to speak to the issue of nurturing special needs children, and leaning on the parents to help guide their classroom education.
"I think every kid deserves a special education, but our most vulnerable kids deserve time and attention,” Wilcox said. “I'm committed to providing a great education to all of our kids. I'm committed of moving to an understandable process for parents of these kids. They get confused and bogged down with the legalize of special education - when all they want is the best for their kids. So I will talk to our special education teachers early on, and I will tell them to always air on the side of the special needs parents in these cases."
Now, many wait for the board to make a decision.
FOX 46 Charlotte’s David Sentendry is at the school board meeting Tuesday night talking to parents affected by this CMS decision. More on this story at 10 p.m.