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|Superintendent Anticipates Trouble from Special Education Parents|
By Ann K. Williams
February 22, 2011 -- In a confidential memo obtained by the Lookout Thursday, Superintendent Tim Cuneo warned the school board that three former members of the school district's Special Education Program Task Force are likely to cause trouble when the district negotiates with the city for Measure Y and YY funds.
Last month, task force members Claudia Landis and Lee Jones resigned; member Tricia Crane resigned months earlier, but continued to attend task force meetings, Cuneo wrote in the January 21 memo.
In correspondence appended to the memo, the resignees complained that the task force report was a “sham” and that it would bring about no real programmatic change in the district's special education practices.
Cuneo expects the three to “be very vocal in not supporting the report coming from the Program Committee,” and he “anticipate[s] that at least one of the three may attempt to sabotage the District's efforts [with the city] if they do not get their way.
“In the past, Tricia Crane has gone to Bobby Shriver in an attempt to influence the City Council's relationship with the District,” Cuneo wrote.
In May 2007, Crane brought complaints of special education parents before the city council, temporarily halting a $7.2 million allocation to the district under its facility-use agreement with the city.
Ultimately, the council withheld $530,000 until the district commissioned an independent investigation of its special education policies.
A year later, Crane was publicly honored by Cuneo for her work for the district's special education community. Speaking on behalf of special education parents, Crane in turn told Cuneo he should "know how much we appreciate your guidance."
Last November, voters passed Measures Y and YY, city sales tax increases that will be partially channeled into the schools.
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