Opinion: Thumbs up, thumbs down: February 12, 2014
Happy Valentine's Day!
Love is in the air this week. Just don't eat too many chocolates!
In county's decision to withdrawfrom special education, students are left behind
There's got to be a better way.
On Jan. 9, the Colusa County Office of Education informed the four school districts in the county that it would cease administering Special Education programs as of June 30, 2015, Brian Pearson reported in the Feb. 5 edition of the Sun-Herald.
According to the letter, the CCOE had agreed to run those programs in 1975 with the passage of what would become the Disabilities Education Act. But in 1992, then-county superintendent JoAn Saltzen told the districts the CCOE could not run those programs beyond their original funding levels. At that time, the districts agreed to cover any excess costs, allowing the county to remain in charge of Special Education.
Now, according to the letter, because the districts aren't covering those excess costs anymore, the county can't afford to administer the programs.
We understand money has to come from somewhere — it won't just appear when we need it. And, according to the letter, the CCOE hopes to help the districts find a different means to run — and pay for — their Special Education programs.
That sounds fine. But June 2015 isn't that far away. We can't imagine a scenario in which Special Education isn't available to students who need it (in fact, legally, it has to be).
But right now, these students' futures are up in the air.
In the end, education is all about our children. That's not meant to be a criticism of county or school district officials. They're doing their best to find a solution to a terribly difficult problem.
But that it's a problem at all? That's sad — and frightening.
The Eagles have landed — in a convocation in Colusa
One person called it "unprecedented," what's happening here in Colusa County.
Not just any person, either, but the Scout Executive/CEO for the Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
On Jan. 26, Gavin Gerrard, Nick Moresco and Branden Woodring received their Eagle Scout badges, the first Scounts in 11 years in Colusa County to receive the honor, according to a story by Pearson on Feb. 5.
Congratulations to all three, and well done.
But what's even more remarkable is that as many as 10 more members of Troop 5 are within a year of achieving Eagle status.
That's 13 out of a total of 15 — and Scoutmaster Amy Gerrard said she wants that number to get to 15.
That would be 87 percent within a year, with 100 percent a possibility.
"Typically, only 4 percent of boys that join receive the Eagle Scout designation," Pearson quotes Jim Martin, the Golden Empire Countil CEO, as saying.
We're journalists, not math majors, but even we can figure out that 87 percent is a lot higher than 4 percent.
"That is exceptional — that is unprecendented," Martin says.
"Exceptional" and "unprecedented" aren't words to be tossed around lightly, but they fit what these boys have done — and what they aspire to do.