Parents of children with learning and behavioural difficulties say they're horrified to learn the Ministry of Education is considering closing the country's four residential care schools by the end of the year.
Ministry officials are seeking feedback about closing the schools and expanding a service in which special needs children would be supported to live at home and go to their local school.
It says it could save $50,000 a student and help twice as many people.
But Robin Swafford, the parent of a child who needs constant monitoring, says the proposal would make it difficult for families to manage, especially in isolated communities.
The four schools cater for 120 children throughout the country.