Are they ending special education programs where you live? It turns out this is happening around the world. Parents with students who have learning disabilities can’t find assistance, or, like in England, they are mistreated in institutions.
But don’t give up. There is hope, as I explain at the end of this post.
Parents in Abbottsford, British Columbia have children who are put on waiting lists for services. The push has been for inclusion in the general classes, but special education teachers find themselves with huge caseloads. Some have 37 students per teacher.
Parents there recognize that inclusion is more than dumping children into general education classes. Students need support from a qualified, professional special education teacher to succeed. They just can’t find them.
It is so bad, principals told parents to keep their students home! Parents resort to alternative school and distance learning. That’s right. Stick children on the computer for all of their schooling even though there is no proof it works.
Parents might also pay $13,000 for a private school, but there is no assurance the teachers will be prepared to work with students with special needs in those schools either.
In Australia, school officials just throw up their hands and claim they don’t have funding! Many believe the system is in crisis because they also lack qualified special education teachers.
As one parent puts it, they “fight and fight and fight” for the basics.
I’m guessing a few parents in America can identify with that complaint.
In New York City, as noted in a previous post, many students with special needs are not getting services. The New York Times claims it’s thousands. How common is this in cities and rural areas around the country?
With the U.S. Department of Education pushing for the placement of all students with disabilities in inclusion classes, often without support, and for them to take tests that they will fail, we know this is everywhere.
In England, children have been housed and mistreated in an institutional-like setting. Sir Steven Bubb writes about working to get children home again—it is so bad.
America should remember. It wasn’t that long ago that we had institutions that mistreated children. We have come a long way since those times. But we are stepping backwards.
Around the world we have countries which are not properly focused on the most vulnerable among us. They aren’t working to help the many parents who struggle to help their children learn.
And learn these children will do, with the proper attention and top support by those who study how to teach them.
With improvement of the learning disabilities facing children, whatever they might be, families and children are lifted, the burden is eased, and both child and parents can find increased joy in the beauty their child brings to them and to the world.
There is hope.
Look to California! Parents in that state have united to file a lawsuit claiming the special education system is failing to identify and educate students in the “least restrictive environment.” Parents charge that IEPs are not being followed and that they are not being considered in the decision-making.
A federal district judge in Sacramento recently cleared the way for the suit to proceed.
This is not the time for officials to throw-up their hands and say there is no solution. We know what works. It is a matter of doing what is morally right.