SEPTA’s Public Comments – May 2022

Picture is that of a light wood desk. There are work-related objects scattered on the desk. From left to right: headphones, 2 notebooks, a keyboard with a pair of glasses resting on it, a silver pen, a yellow cup of coffee w/saucer, a computer mouse. In the center is blue text saying "Advocacy News." The SEPTA logo is in the bottom right corner.

May is a busy month for advocacy, as many important policies are being brought before the FCPS School Board that will impact the 2022-2023 school year.

On Wednesday, May 11, 2022, SEPTA Vice President Amanda Campbell spoke to the Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) regarding concerns that special education teachers have brought to our attention regarding pay equity between the new elementary special education lead teacher positions and the secondary special education lead teacher (aka dept. chair) positions that currently exist. We also raised concerns regarding the plans for ensuring elementary teachers receive planning time equity with their secondary colleagues, as the slides and discussion at the FCPS Budget Worksession on May 10th indicated that there was no explicit plan for how this initiative would account for the unique needs of special education teachers teaching in self-contained, multi-grade level classes. You can listen to the full testimony in the video below:

On Thursday, May 12th, SEPTA had an additional opportunity to publicly advocate at the School Board meeting. SEPTA’s Vice President Amanda Campbell and Advocacy Chair Diane Cooper Gould both spoke to concerns regarding the proposed changes to the Student Rights and Responsibilities policy for the 2022-23 school year. Amanda focused primarily on the impact of the proposed cell phone policy on the privacy rights of students with disabilities and those with medical conditions – and the increased likelihood of stigmatization of those populations under the proposed policy, as well as to the need for requiring parental consent when students with intellectual or developmental disabilities are questioned by school staff for discipline reasons. Diane focused primarily on the proposed changes to the discipline levels, especially on the change from K-6/7-12 interventions, to K-3/4-12. Diane highlighted that students with disabilities have been historically disproportionately disciplined in FCPS, with both 2019 and 2022 data supporting the disproportionality. You can see Amanda and Diane’s full statements here:

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