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Letter: Sees no better investment than special education program

Published: February 20, 2013 12:00 AM

I am writing in

response to the letter that appeared in the Feb. 13 issue criticizing the cost of the special education services that Hudson City Schools provide ("Feels Hudson special education costs are too high"). As the proud older sister of one of Hudson's special needs students, I feel compelled to explain this program's worthiness.

In response to the satirical questions over Hudson's "gene pool" or drinking water, I must convey that many taxpaying families, such as my own, chose to move to Hudson specifically for the services the schools could provide their children. In addition, Hudson is a full-inclusion school system, causing our costs to be higher than others in comparison. I reject the accusation that the parents of these children, such as my own, are "taking advantage of the system."

Raising and educating a child with special needs can be a precarious art that knows no formula. The teachers and aides employed by Hudson are dedicated, patient and talented professionals who face unique challenges on a daily basis. Their compassion and willingness to go above and beyond have changed my brother's life, for which my family and I are profoundly grateful.

As a student at Hudson High School, I see firsthand how this unique program has touched the lives of all of our community's youth. The high fives in the hallway and the welcoming conversations at lunch are examples of the tolerance and empathy this program breeds. While it is undeniable the cost of this program is high, I can think of no investment more worthy than one in the future of all our children.

Carolyn Turkaly, Hudson

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