PATERSON, N.J. - The budget Paterson Public Schools' is expected to move forward with calls for cutting back 208 total jobs, 96 of which are teachers, as it prepares to bring special education students back into the district.
At Wednesday night's board of education meeting the budget was voted down unanimously. On Thursday evening Evans announced that he would veto the boards rejection of the budget and proceed.
Superintendent Donnie Evans announced in March that the district would save $4.3 million on special education spending by transferring students with disabilities from privately owned schools, back into the district. Evans said that additional teachers would be hired to accommodate those additional students, although the budget calls for a 2.2% decrease in special education spending and the loss of 96 teaching jobs.
In March an education advocacy group, the Newark-based Education Law Center, filed a complaint against the state claiming that special education students were not given the resources they were entitled to under state law. The group claimed that aides were used to cover classes for absent staff, and that several classes did not have in-class support.
The district said that the special education budget and special needs students have increased. District spokeswoman Terry Corrallo told NJ.com that ""As a result, we have added classrooms in several schools to accommodate the needs of our students. Paterson has made significant improvements in this area, although we know there is more work to be done.".