Community Encinitas

Special ed task force applications due Sept. 5

ENCINITAS — The San Dieguito Union High School District is looking for people to join its task force that will investigate the district’s special education programs, but some critics have questioned the body’s proposed makeup.

The district decided to create the 17-member panel in response to recent criticism over the district’s decision to house one of its special education programs in two modular units adjacent to the grounds of the brand new Earl Warren Middle School campus.

Parents of the students in the district’s adult transition program pelted the district with claims of “separate but equal” treatment of the students in the program, and called the facilities “tool sheds.”

The district has since moved the entire program into three classrooms at La Costa Canyon High School.

The panel is slated to be composed of five parents, five special education staff members, five general education staff members, five administrators and two classified staff members.

By next June, the group is expected to create a special education strategic plan that will guide the district on how to structure the various special education programs.

At least one of the district’s most outspoken critics on the special education matter, however, sent the district an email urging them to include students on the task force.

“You can’t make sound policy decisions with five parents, no students and only school staff and administrators who will not be devoting four hours of a school day to these meetings,” Sheila Mitra-Sarkar wrote in an email on Aug. 30.

Applications for the task force are due by 3 p.m. Sept. 5. For more information, visit