Parent Voices

Eroding Trust

Why is the LAUSD’s Division of SpEd saying that “placement continues to be an IEP decision” while choices like Aut Core are eliminated?

Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness
Published in
4 min readSep 13, 2022

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“They are plowing through special programs regardless of anything parents have to say.”

- LAUSD Parent Vicky Maronyan

At the first LAUSD Special Education Committee meeting of the new school year, the Division of Special Education presented a “Back to School Update.” As the Beaudry Bureaucrats read directly from their prepared slides it quickly became apparent that “inclusion” was a subject that they wanted to emphasize. Of the nine slides in the presentation, one-third were focused on how the district is “fostering inclusion for all our students.”

While providing inclusive environments seems like progress for a school district that spent decades trying to earn its way out of court-ordered supervision for its delivery of special education services, experience has shown that inclusion is often enacted through forced mainstreaming. Instead of bringing “typical” students into a special education environment, those with disabilities are forced to acclimate to general education classrooms, even when it is completely inappropriate.

While pretending to have a goal of ending “segregation”, the LAUSD has limited access to specialized environments where students were thriving and had programs in place to help them meet their full potential. Special Education Centers have long been on the district’s chopping block and parents found out late into the last school year that the Aut-Core program would not be available as their children transitioned from middle to high school. The result has been students who feel even more isolated in their “inclusive” classroom, especially when promised supports fail to materialize.

When provided the opportunity to ask the bureaucrats about their presentation I addressed the concerns that many parents whose children are enrolled in special education, especially those with moderate to severe needs, have:

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Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com