The special education teachers of the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) are standing up for small class sizes for our children. The SMCOE is trying to raise the number of students that they put in the special ed classes. While currently there are no caps, there are some recommended levels for each classroom. These recommended numbers of students are based on safety factors (for the students and the staff) and the ability of the educators to teach our children, not just be babysitters. I was at the SMCOE Board of Education meeting this week, and there were about 40 educators there trying to convince the Board not to raise the numbers of students in each class. As a parent, I support these teachers. While of course I don’t always agree with my sons’ teachers on every single issue, to me this is clearly an issue where parents and teachers can stand together and support our children and each other. With a small group of parents, we have drafted the letter pasted below. Our goal is to get at least 100 parents, relatives, caregivers and supporters to sign on to this letter, and we will send it to the SMCOE Board of Education, with a copy to the teachers association. If you agree, please send your name as you’d like it to appear on the letter, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if your child is not in County classes, and even if your child is not in special education, this is an important issue that deserves your support. Please distribute widely to your own networks of friends and family, as well as other listserves.
Thanks for your support.
OPEN LETTER TO THE SAN MATEO COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
We, the undersigned, are parents, relatives, and supporters of children in special education and regular education classes in San Mateo County. We are concerned about the proposal to raise the number of students in the County’s special education classes. We understand that the current recommendations for class size are based on several important factors, foremost among them the safety of the educators and the students. Current class sizes also promote the appropriate education of the students, as is intended in the I.D.E.A. Adding additional students to these classrooms will increase noise levels, increase the staffing needs, and create safety hazards. We urge the San Mateo County Office of Education to maintain the current class sizes and not jeopardize the education of any student. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.