School for deaf faces declining enrollment - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

School for deaf faces declining enrollment

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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont school for the deaf is facing declining enrollment and staff pay cuts.

The Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro had about 140 students in the early 1980s. That's down to about 20 students this year. Staff also took a 6 percent pay cut this year, and the school is considering new revenue sources, such as providing on-campus apartments for deaf and hard-of-hearing senior citizens.

President Bill Gurney tells Vermont Public Radio he attributes the enrollment decline in part to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act, which requires public schools to address children's needs. He also said medical and technical advances have made it easier for deaf children to live in their own communities.

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