Our Local Fight for Students with Disabilities
Guardian Project founder Stephen Furnari advocates for students with disabilities in Flagler County Florida.
In addition to running Guardian Project, my wife and I are co-administrators of Flagler ESE Advocates, which is a local advocacy group for parents of students with disabilities receiving exceptional student education in Flagler County, Florida.
We also administers the Flagler ESE Support Group, which is free,150-member online support group where parents and caretakers of students in ESE exchange resources, information and advocate for improvements in our local school district Flagler Schools.
This month we have been engaged in a disagreement with the school district administration about a decision they made to eliminate staffing specialists in every school. This is the person in our district who administers our IEP meetings and keeps the staff with the bounds of the law.
Now, the 1,900 students in ESE will be relying on five district staffing specialists, which is half the current amount.
While we are unhappy about this change in staffing, we are most disappointed by our district's failure to get the opinions of stakeholders, including parents, teachers, principals and staff, on whom this decision will directly affect.
I wanted to personally thank Shaun Ryan from the Daytona News Journal, and Pierre Tristam from FlaglerLive.com, for taking the time to understand this issue and write very fair coverage about this important issue.