Now, I am all for special education for children with problems. I attended school at a time when such children were either put into “special” schools or thrown in with the general student population to sink or frolic in the water on their own. It was a terrible inequity. It finally was addressed in the 1970s with a law designed to correct such splendour giving these children the municipal directly to an equal chance to learn. Legal issues covered children from birth to age 23, insuring them the right to a free and “appropriate” public education. It is the unclear word “appropriate” written into the law that is creating a crisis for the schools in California, according to Nanette Asimov, staff writer for the San fran Share.
This content specified an issue of one child with a handicap. The issued public middle school offered special college prep classes, daily help from a 讀寫困難 special education expert, a laptop computer, additional time for tests, the opportunity to briefly leave class if the child’s had an panic attack, and a special advocate to smooth over any problems with teachers.
The parents hired a special consultant instead, who found alternative education and learning opportunities — all were private schools and all were out-of-state. They settled on a boarding school in Maine, beyond the main city, that had one-tenth of the sign up of the school population. The one solution this school did not offer was a special education program. Mom said that smaller classes and a smaller campus were more important than the usual special education program. Since the possibility of anxiety and panic attacks was mentioned in the article, no one can truly judge the merit of this situation except the child’s physician and/or psycho therapist.
After the child was placed into the private school, the parents then hired an attorney, who focuses on special education cases, to file papers with the court demanding the California schools pay four years of tuition and family travel costs between California and Maine. Tuition was $30, 000 annually. The California schools met the demands.
This is only one such case in the California schools, which might or may not have been justified. The problem is that it is not the only case. In 2005, there were 3, 763 California schools children with problems that were the focus of formal complaints — the vast majority of which originated in parents. This is double the number of only a decade ago, and the numbers are growing.
With a cost of almost $40, 000 to go to a court hearing and the possibility of a costly judgment, the California schools attempt to settle cases before they get that far. In 2005, 10 % of the California schools’ cases went to a full hearing — 386 in all. The remainder 90 percent were resolved through top secret settlements. With seven-hundred, 000 special needs students currently in the California schools and already paying hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for private positionings, the school system is headed for a financial crisis.
In 2004, the California schools received $4. 1 thousand for special education from the government and local sources. It was still not enough to pay these extra settlement costs, and the California schools had to take $1. 6 thousand from the regular class budget. Twenty-eight percent of the special education expenditures that year originated in the off the shelf education budget.
California schools educators complain that parents who are able to afford an attorney are assured more opportunities for their children than those who cannot afford to do so, creating an inequity between the haves and have-nots. Additionally, special education teachers see benefits to special programs, such as horse riding therapy, but acknowledge that such parent demands are not education related. California schools parents and educators have reached chances.
Parents are making tuition payment demands of the California schools for such programs as private day schools, boarding schools, summer camps, horse riding therapy, and aqua therapy. Additionally, the California schools are expected to pay for computers, plane tickets, car rental, hotel stays, meals, new clothing and tailoring for the children, phone calls, stamps, gas and tolls, and future round-trip visits from time of sign up prior to the children graduate from high school.
In all, the California schools are paying billions of dollars each year for private positionings and additional costs. It is creating an inequity for children the municipal protection under the law law was passed to protect and a financial crisis for the California schools.
I have to admit that we wanted every opportunity possible for my child to live a happy and normal adult life. I had a special needs child and spent several hours sitting in principals’ offices and at the school board demanding that his needs be met. I was fortunate that she received access to the available offerings within the public school system.