Public hearing held for IDEA

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tuesday, the Poplarville School District held a public hearing at the superintendent’s office in Poplarville to review the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act application for 2016.

The school district submits the application to the Mississippi Department of Education every year in order to receive federal funds that would financially support their special needs programs, said Donnie Carroll, interim special services director for the Poplarville School District.

“The purpose of the meeting was to gather input from the community,” Carroll said.

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No one from the public attended the meeting, so Carroll reviewed the application with several school district employees.

Carroll said the funds are instrumental in supporting the district’s education of special needs children and their teachers’ pay. The money goes towards numerous special education services, including educational equipment for disabled students and special education training and salaries for teachers and administrators, Carroll said.

IDEA is a federal law designed to protect the rights of students with disabilities. The act not only provides these students with equal rights but also offers additional educational resources, according to the National Resource Center on ADIHD’s website.

The special education services are offered in accordance with the Individualized Education Program, which is tailored to each special needs child attending public school, according to the website.

Carroll said they’re required to review the application with the public before presenting it to the Poplarville School Board.

“Hopefully it’ll be put on the agenda for the next school board meeting,” Carroll said.

If the board approves the application, it’ll be submitted to the Mississippi Department of Education for review. The state will decide how much money to allot to each school district for the given year, Carroll said.