Administrators in the Grand Rapids Public Schools say they will comply with directives from the state and provide more options for students by changing the special education curriculum.

The district is consolidating a pair of education centers where they say there will be more staff and opportunities.

And to comply with state guidelines, they will no longer offer summer school to all students. Both plans are a concern to some parents, particularly restrictions on year round school.

Several who addressed the Board Of Education Monday, March 6, see the changes as more cuts to special ed.

“Almost an accumulation and escalation of major cuts and alterations to many special education services, programs and schools,” said parent Lily Schulting.

“We are adding a teacher, we are adding child care workers, we are not decreasing staff and we are certainly not increasing class sizes,” pointed out district special education executive director Laura LaMore. “We anticipate this will be nothing but good news for our young adults.”

GRPS administrators say they are gradually phasing in the changes. They have also produced a resource guide to help families plan summer activities for students no longer eligible for extended school year programs.

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