There’s more to the story on proposed changes to MPS autism program

Thank you for focusing on the MPS Citywide Autism Program.  

Unfortunately, it appears you worked to find a balance between two sides where there isn’t any while the real issue is the District’s lack of transparency or evidence of effectiveness for all the changes being made.  This is being portrayed as a natural outcome of choice by parents when actual choice is being eliminated.  

Level 1 and 2 were not offered by the District to incoming k’s to force a shift to a community based option.  Diffusing resources to all community schools will by simple math dilute services so greatly that all autistic children will be dramatically impacted.  

You chose two parents that are “for” the changes that have direct connections to the District which does not remove a potential for bias and neither have a child in the Autism Program currently.  How are these fair representations of how autistic children in the program will be affected?  You pit that against more than a dozen families and growing with serious concerns about dismantling a successful program done in a covert way.

Many more families would be fighting but almost all are still unaware of any change because the District has not informed them.  Why not focus on the District’s questionable actions?   Why only extremely late in the school year, staff and no parents were notified of changes coming fast with no plan in place?  Ask why if their new approach is so successful, they are not broadcasting to all their plans?  Ask how much specialized, autism-trained staff they will have per child this coming year as per previous or similarly how much funding is going to be allocated per child?  

These questions from parents are only answered with silence.  There is no transparency and no facts, only haste.  Why?   

Dan Nepp