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District 102 to address parents' concerns about program changes at meeting

Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 4:00 a.m. CDT

LA GRANGE PARK – District 102 officials will hold an informational meeting Monday for parents with questions or concerns about program changes approved last month initiated to reduce a $3 million deficit.

In a letter announcing the meeting, Superintendent Warren Shillingburg wrote that the district has worked hard to avoid program cuts in recent years as state funding has declined while the district's population has increased. 

This year, though, the board of education asked the administration to find $1 million in cuts for next school year, resulting in changes to the tiered-services program for students who require additional guidance. The board recommended the move at an April 29 meeting attended by dozens of parents, several of whom spoke against the changes and the way they came about. The district announced the proposed changes three days before the board considered them for the first time. Teachers union president Kathleen Valenta said district reading specialists were not consulted about a new computer-based reading program.

"We know there are some misunderstandings out there regarding these changes, including the false rumor that we are cutting special education services," Shillingburg said in his letter. "We have made no cuts to our special education services, only changes to our delivery model for the tiered services, which is a general education program. We look forward to meeting with anyone who still has questions or concerns. We believe once you understand the changes we are making, you will feel as positive about these improvements as we do."

The meeting will take place from 7 to 8 p.m. in the LRC at Park Junior High, 333 N. Park Road. 

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