A cloudy future surrounds the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind, as the school’s fate lies in the passage of House Bill 2456.The bill “has already passed through the house,” said Superintendent of ASDB Annette Reichman. “The Senate is currently where we’re finding ourselves stuck right now.”If passed, the school can continue operations for an additional eight years.While speaking with Reichman, who used an ASL interpreter during the interview, she says there are major implications for the more than 2,000 students they serve if the school closes. Those students include those enrolled directly at ASDB and those in public schools that utilize resources from ASDB.”Those school districts who have students who are attending their schools but receiving services from us, they would no longer be receiving those educational support systems from us,” Reichman said.The bill has been in limbo for nearly three weeks, and Reichman says next week is the last chance to pass bills out of committee and on to a final vote for passage.”The fact that we’re even having this discussion is puzzling to me,” she said. “This has never happened before in our history.”KGUN 9 reached out to the bill’s sponsor, Beverly Pingerelli, for confirmation on whether next week will be a make or break for this bill and the school’s future, but had not received a response by the time this story aired.The writing may not be on the wall just yet for the school’s fate. According to the state’s constitution, lawmakers are required to make provisions for students with audio and visual impairments, giving Reichman hope for the school’s future.”We are really committed to providing the best education and support to our students,” she said. “That we can do and that’s what we have been doing ever since our inception.”
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