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Letter to the Editor: Stop SPED cuts

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To the Editor:

My name is Adam Bortolussi and I am writing to you to express my concern over proposed cuts to the Special Education Program in the Hopkinton Public School District.

It has come to my attention, and it is my understanding that there is a proposal to eliminate a number of special education roles (FTEs) which directly provide services to students whilst hiring director-level roles that will not provide any direct services to students in need. With a growing community, this seems counterintuitive and lacking of insight into the daily experiences of those teachers providing such critical support to students.

Since this proposal has been communicated, a group of individuals and families who have connections to the Special Education Program have come together to appeal to the administration with the hopes of stopping the adoption of the current proposal into the formal budget. If you have a chance, please search #StopSPEDcuts on Facebook to learn about the goals of this group and read the journeys of families who would be directly impacted by reductions in quality of services.

My son has difficulty with speech and is currently attending the Hopkinton Integrated Preschool. My wife Laura and I have witnessed an amazing transformation in our son’s speech since he has started this program. It is truly heartwarming to see how much confidence he has gained in having simple everyday conversations. Laura and I have met some amazing individuals and families who are in need of this community’s support. The results of these programs are meaningful and impactful to so many.

I do not make that statement lightly as I was a student at Hopkinton who received assistance from special education. It made a huge difference in my life. I sincerely hope that Dr. Cavanaugh and the school committee listen to the needs of this group and redesign the current proposal to ensure that these services remain in force and of the same quality.

Laura and I have spoken to friends within the community who are retired, who have children in special education, who have children in the school system, who do not have children, etc., etc., and they have overwhelmingly given us positive feedback and have offered to help. We thank everyone who has supported this grassroots effort and humbly ask for the support of our fellow Hopkinton residents.

Sincerely,

Adam Bortolussi

103 Pond Strest

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