Tempe Union takes step toward improving educational outcomes for special needs students

Published: Friday, February 23, 2024 - 1:11pm
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2024 - 1:13pm
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This week, the Tempe Union High School District Governing Board unanimously approved a resolution intended to improve educational outcomes for its special needs students.

Board member Amanda Steele took the lead on drafting the resolution which outlines the board's commitment to equity and inclusion for those students.

Steele has a son with a disability and said historically, she and other families felt the district was not always meeting their needs.

“To sit in a district that has an executive team, has a superintendent and has people that truly truly want to see these marginalized populations see growth, it’s a change maker," she said. "So for all special education parents, not only is this resolution a commitment from us, it really is the work of what the district is willing to put into this to make sure that students from years from now don’t have the stories that many of the friends and people that I know in my life do.”

The resolution reads in part: ‘the board commits to adopting policies that codify and formalize its dedication to creating safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environments for all students, with an emphasis on special education students.’

This comes after several parents testified at past meetings, complaining about the district's choice to get rid of a program called Success University.

Students in that program could stay in school until they were 22, so they could learn skills that would help them get jobs in the future.

The district has said the change was made to meet a requirement from the Department of Education that students get a diploma with other seniors and was replacing it with another program.

Education Disability