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Mesa moms circulate petitions against special education changes

Posted: 9:36 PM, Jun 19, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-20 00:36:40-04

MESA, AZ — Two moms are circulating petitions trying to prevent Mesa Public Schools from moving their special needs kids to new schools.

Nikki Werner and Kim Miller say they've collected 300 signatures so far. Their kids, Chloe and Ben, have severe intellectual disabilities. The kids attend SID programs that will move to different campuses in August. The change is part of Mesa's consolidation of special education programs district-wide.

"The community here knows what we're saying, and they agree with us," Werner said.

ABC15 first reported on the mom's concerns in April. Ben and Chloe's new schools are much farther away from their homes. Their families are worried about the long bus rides, loss of friends, and the different learning philosophies.

Mesa school officials admitted the transition next year may be hard. However, they repeatedly said the consolidated SID program would provide more stability and a better learning environment over time.

The moms plan to bring the petitions to a Mesa school board meeting on June 25. They believe school board members could overrule district administrators and allow the kids to attend schools in their neighborhood.

"I would urge you to please use your power as the governing board to make things right," Miller said.