As a North Carolina citizen, I am appalled that some state legislators believe our state's budget woes can be solved by reducing the quality of education that we provide to our blind and deaf children. Equally abhorrent is that our deaf community must battle with our blind community over which school is least essential. In a state of 10 million people across 54,000 square miles, are three schools for the blind and deaf an extravagance we cannot afford? I am a fiscally conservative CPA and agree that budget cuts are needed. Education services to those in need through no fault of their own cannot be on that list.
Current attendance figures are not necessarily indicative of future needs. County budgets are also stressed. There should be little doubt that counties will be reducing the services to the deaf and blind students in their own systems. We will see future attendance rise at the state schools.
I have a blind 11-year-old son. He has attended both the Governor Morehead School and county public schools. I can assure our legislators that neither the state schools nor county programs are wasteful with their limited funding.
The state legislature must reverse this closure requirement before it does long-term damage to the most vulnerable children in this state.