Every day I check the education news and am appalled to see more stories about children being denied special education services. Where is the federal government? Where’s the state? And how does the local school district get away with this without being sued?
It is as if students with differences of any kind are being told “go away–you are not welcome here.”
Often, these despicable stories make headlines. Then they fade away leaving parents and the community to struggle finding services.
Children flounder in schools where they once were supposed to be protected by special education law.
I know parents who resort to home schooling because they lost hope in their school district a long time ago. They understand that their children will never get back lost years.
But homeschooling a student with disabilities is not always easy for parents–especially working parents.
As public schools continue to be privatized, we see an increasing disregard for special education regulation.
In 2015, I wrote a post describing cuts to special education in states around the country.
Here is an update. Feel free to contact me about loss of special education services in your state and or community and I will add to this list. Solutions are always welcome too!
When poisoning water doesn’t get leaders in much trouble, denying children special education services must be a piece of cake. So goes Michigan.
In Flint, the ACLU is alleging that students in special education are systematically denied special education services. The state fails to allocate sufficient funds.
Since Michigan decided to take the school privatization route years ago, we have all watched an erosion of public schooling there in general.
The students with special needs bear the brunt of it.
The election isn’t even over, but who is talking about this? I found this article in the The Guardian.
Cheer all you want for the Chicago Cubs, there’s nothing to cheer about when it comes to special education services in Chicago and throughout the state.
Chicago special education teachers and paraprofessionals are always on pins and needles wondering if they will lose their jobs as schools are turned over to charters.
One of the most egregious denials of services is out of Texas. The state decided they had too many students with special needs, so they weeded kids out of programs. It didn’t matter if your child had autism, or speech problems, or any other disability. Suddenly, parents learned from administrators that their child’s problems were corrected. Texas—the state of phony miracles.
Last March The New York Times reported that as many as 40 percent of New York City’s students with special needs were being denied services. The problem seemed to be the $130 million computer system. The Special Education Information Systems had a problem with data and the lack of ability to track the students who needed services. Public Advocate Letitia James sued the New York City Education Department. Mayor Bill de Blasio took issue with the fiasco. What happened to the children?
In 2015, Vermont began relying on paraprofessionals to work with students who have learning disabilities. Good luck getting a real teacher to work with your child, especially when they are plunked into the general education classroom.
I must of missed this in last year’s post. Vermont used to have some of the best public schools in the country, so who would have thought they would not do what’s right for their students needing special education services?
Vermont also has a partnership with SWIFT, an outside group funded by a USDOE grant. This group subscribes to Universal Design for Learning which in the end means online instruction.
Alaska, like many states, has a special education teacher shortage. They bring in general education teachers to do the job thus far, but my guess it is just a matter of time before alternative teacher groups will set up shop there.
Staffing shortages abound in Hawaii, where they are plenty concerned that students are being denied special education services. But who wants to teach special education when you are treated unprofessionally? Well, other than Teach for America types who only work for two years at it. I bet it is nice working in Hawaii. They don’t seem to be so keen on Alaska yet. Probably a little too chilly there.
Shifting students with special needs into general classes doesn’t happen without serious teacher planning. This doesn’t always work and results in substandard or lacking services for students.
Portland, Oregon also has a nonprofit project called REACH 2020. It is supposed to be a miracle–like all nonprofits. But it doesn’t seem to be working well. As one director states, ““Special education is supposed to be a service, not a place.”
Look for more of these miracle promising groups. They are good at bilking tax dollars from real public schools and special education services.
Judge Thomas Moukawsher says, “The call is not about whether certain profoundly disabled children are entitled to a ‘free appropriate public education.’ It is about whether schools can decide in an education plan for a covered child that the child has a minimal or no chance for education, and therefore the school should not make expensive, extensive, and ultimately pro-forma efforts.” That makes a lot of Connecticut parents and teachers queasy in that state and rightly so.
In the San Francisco Bay Area they are apparently not providing services for students with special needs. It is sad how NBC frames this as “schools vs. students.”
I always thought schools were supposed to be for the students!