Community activist concerned about diversity, special education

March 4, 2009



STARKVILLE -- A Starkville community resident Tuesday, at a school board meeting, voiced concerns she says are shared by many parents and community members. 




"I am really concerned about some things going on in the school district, and I would like to have them addressed," Dorothy Isaac said. 




Her first item covered the lack of racial diversity among school teachers in grades kindergarten through five. 




"There is a lack of African-American teachers in K-5," Isaac said. "There are 89 teachers (in these grades), and only 11 are African-American." 




Kindergarten has the lowest number of black teachers with just two, she said. She then addressed special education issues and said children were not being admitted to special education as often as before, and their needs are not being addressed correctly now. 




"What accommodations are being made to give resources for these kids not in special education?" Isaac asked. "What are we going to do with these students?" 




The school district has been working in recent years to reduce the disproportionate number of African-American students in special education as mandated by the state Department of Education. 




Isaac also voiced concern over Superintendent Judy Couey''s lack of a doctorate degree. 




"Has the board addressed this with her?" she asked. 




Board members heard Isaac''s concerns, without commenting.