Friday, March 05, 2010

Deaf and blind school is forced to make cuts

Deaf and blind school is forced to make cuts

Utah’s School for the Deaf and Blind is making cuts to meet a budget reduction of $670,000.

The USDB is eliminating several programs, including its Ogden residential program, summer camps, and short term programs. They have also released almost 20 employees, including some teachers.

“We’d rather make a transition over the summer,” says USDB Superintendent Steve Noyce. “But with the budget cuts, we felt like we needed to do it now.”

While the school provides service for approximately 2,200 students throughout Utah, only about 20 kids are affected by the cancellation of the Ogden residential program.

“We’re trying to bring cuts to areas with the least amount of impact on the fewest number of students,” say USDB Public Information Officer Kim Smale.

Nine of those 20 students are old enough to graduate from the program and another seven will be able to attend satellite schools closer to home. To accommodate the remaining four students, the USDB plans to provide teachers in a local school in order to continue educating the kids.

“We think the changes will be positive,” says Smale, “It’s sad to see [the residential program] go, but we feel we can provide the same level of service to these students.”

The USDB made over two million dollars in cuts last year and anticipate making at least another $300,000 in cuts during 2011.