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March 25, 2004

Critics of SDSD to meet with regents

From: Aberdeen American News - Aberdeen,SD,USA - Mar 25, 2004

Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The state Board of Regents plans to meet April 6 with parents and others upset with administrators of the South Dakota School for the Deaf.

Critics want Superintendent Jon Green removed and think the regents should create a new governing board that would include a majority of hearing-impaired members.

They accuse the current administration of showing a hostile attitude toward school staff who promote deaf culture, failing to involve alumni, and discouraging students from pursuing futures that focus on institutions for the deaf.

Tad Perry, the regents' executive director, doesn't expect any leadership changes to come from the meeting. Critics will receive the same response at the April meeting as it did in the past, he said.

"This is not a new proposal," said Perry. "I told them two years ago when somebody advanced that concept the regents have the responsibility under the state constitution (to oversee the school). They can't delegate that to somebody else, even though it is an interesting idea."

Green, who became superintendent in 1995, has said the accusations are the result of miscommunication. Given the school's resources, parents are demanding a level of education that school cannot provide, he said.

The regents support Green, Perry added.

"He has done a wonderful job. The academic program has improved in the nine years he has been there," Perry said. "The physical plant is better than when he inherited it. There were ongoing issues in the residence hall program. He took the initiative and restructured that into a model residence hall program. He has done a fabulous job of doing the core mission."

Information from: Argus Leader

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