The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Montgomery County, Maryland:
Autistic Student Services Threatened

Apr 8, 2024

Montgomery County, Maryland, public school parents are speaking out about the district’s plan to reassign half the paraeducators from the county’s center for students with autism to other schools.

The number of students in the county diagnosed with autism has risen from well under 2,000 in 2012 to 4,000 now, an increase of more than 140%. But the number of paraeducators who assist teachers in their classrooms has risen by less than nine percent.

The district established Darnestown five years ago as a center for autistic children. Now, the district plans to provide autism services in more schools. But officials are using this proposal to justify transferring paraeducators from Darnestown. The center is already horribly understaffed, with ratios as bad as 12 children to two paraeducators, which means six children with autism per paraeducator. The ratio should be more like 1.5 students for each staff member.

As parents are demanding, children with autism need more attention, not less!