Sharpe Health School Parents Fight Budget Cuts | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Sharpe Health School Parents Fight Budget Cuts

Play associated audio
C. Melvin Sharpe Health School serves some of the District's most developmentally challenged students.
Armando Trull
C. Melvin Sharpe Health School serves some of the District's most developmentally challenged students.

It's 3:15 p.m. dismissal at the C. Melvin Sharpe Health school in Northwest D.C. Like most school kids, these children seem eager to get on the school buses idling on the driveway. But unlike most D.C. school children, they need a lot of help to do so.

"Some of them have seizures. They have to be lifted, they have to be changed," Cynthia Bland, who works at Sharpe. Even though some of them are in wheelchairs, and they can talk, they can't use their hands or their feet."

Bland's 22-year-old daughter, who has cerebral palsy and mild retardation, is about to graduate from the school.

"My daughter has been here since '92. They've always left Sharpe behind, always," she says.

Parents of Sharpe students are now angry over proposals to slash $6 million needed to maintain the aging school, says Bland. The plans would mean excessing some of the staff, and perhaps transferring some students into neighborhood schools. Bland predicts some of them will be unable to cope.

"So who will be left behind? Our students. Here we go again," Bland says.

Ward 4 Council member Muriel Bowser says Sharpe's fragile students could be hurt by staffing cuts.

"We know that those children often times need to be served by one or two adults," Bowser says.

Sharpe parents are promising to mobilize to fight the proposed cuts.

NPR

'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

T. Geronimo Johnson's latest follows four Berkeley students who take an American history class that leads to disaster. It's an ambitious book about race that wants to say something big about America.
NPR

Why Shark Finning Bans Aren't Keeping Sharks Off The Plate (Yet)

Fewer shark fins are being imported into Hong Kong, the epicenter of shark-fin soup, a culinary delicacy. But while the trade in shark fins may be down, the trade in shark meat is still going strong.
NPR

Peace Corps Teams Up With First Lady To 'Let Girls Learn'

The Peace Corp will recruit and train about 650 additional volunteers to focus on girls' education around the world. The expansion is part of a larger program launched by Michelle Obama Tuesday.
NPR

Internet Memes And 'The Right To Be Forgotten'

Becoming Internet-famous is a gold mine for some, a nightmare for others. The world of memes can pit free speech against the desire for privacy. And laws generally aren't keeping up, an expert says.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.