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Putting a price on special education


As we consider the world of special education, the voices of school administrators – the people who help determine where district dollars go – are extremely valuable. Right now, sequestration threatens to cut millions of dollars in funding for special education. In San Francisco, that means a cut of roughly $3.8 million in federal funds starting this fall. That funding was previously used for child nutrition and early education programs – and it will now need to be found elsewhere in the district’s already tight budget.

Rachel Norton, president of the San Francisco Unified School District, has a perspective a lot more complex than just dollars and cents. Rachel is the mother of an autistic child and a longtime activist for students with disabilities. These issues led her to run for the Board in 2009, and she continues to focus a fair amount of her board time on how the district treats and understands kids with special needs. SFUSD Board President Rachel Norton sat down with KALW’s Kristine Stolakis.

Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.