CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. - Chappaqua parents are petitioning the Chappaqua Central School District to keep a full-time psychologist for each of its three its elementary schools in 2012-13.
"If you are concerned about the mental health of the children in our district, please make your voices heard by signing below to let our school board and superintendent know that we need to continue to have a full-time psychologist in each in our elementary schools," the petition reads .
At a March 13 board of education meeting, the district proposed a reduction of full-time psychologists from three to 2.4. The 0.4, part-time position would be utilized for a central psychologist evaluator to conduct evaluations for all three elementary schools.
Director of Special Education Heidi McCarthy said the need for psychologists is significantly greater at the high school and middle school levels and the two elementary school psychologists will balance their time among the three schools.
"I truly feel this reduction will have a negative impact on the general population of children at each school and the classified students therein as well," said Susan Moskowitz, a parent. "Furthermore, this reduction is not based on any model from a school district where this type of 'floating psychologist' has been successful. I believe Chappaqua students deserve better than a 'fingers crossed that this works' approach."
The total proposed special education budget shows a $498,715 increase, or 4.07 percent, from $12,241,108 to $12,739,823. The budget also shows an additional increase of $124,770 in transportation, or 8.51 percent, bringing the total to $1,591,343.
The petition, which was created on March 29, currently has 47 signatures. Parents hope to reach 300 signatures before the board of education votes to adopt the budget on April 10. If adopted, the budget would be put to a public vote on May 15.
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