Charter schools 'amassing' special ed...

Charter schools 'amassing' special ed cash?

There are 175 comments on the The Morning Call story from Jul 10, 2009, titled Charter schools 'amassing' special ed cash?. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

Through their local school districts, taxpayers pay millions of dollars to educate special education students enrolled in Pennsylvania 's increasing number of charter schools.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Morning Call.

who gives a crap

Manahawkin, NJ

#128 Jul 12, 2009
Judging by your attitude "Only the facts" from scranton Pa, it's obvious.

We have a special needs child and we will make damn sure the school district will do what its suppossed to do whether you like it or not. And no, we don't need a scum sucken lawyer to back us up. She is entitled to an education like any other human being and we will be her advocates against people like yourself.

You nor your ignorant followers will stop us.
Only the facts

White Haven, PA

#129 Jul 13, 2009
who gives a crap wrote:
Judging by your attitude "Only the facts" from scranton Pa, it's obvious.
We have a special needs child and we will make **** sure the school district will do what its suppossed to do whether you like it or not. And no, we don't need a scum sucken lawyer to back us up. She is entitled to an education like any other human being and we will be her advocates against people like yourself.
You nor your ignorant followers will stop us.
Just remember the tides are changing and the taxpayers are tired of footing the bill, for children such as yours. What most district need to supply for education to special need students and what they do supply in most cases are two totally different things. Most district supply well in the excess of what is required. As budgets get tighter, you will see that all change and the districts will start only supplying, the minimums, like they should have all along. The days of rubber stamp approving all IEP's are over, districts are finally learning to get their own experts involved in determining the students real needs. They've found out, they can spent a few hundred now and save the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars over the course of that students education. I know of one case, where what the parents expected and what the district needed to supply, had a difference of over $100,000 per year. Over the life of the 15 year (since most special needs students go until they're 21) education, that would come out to $1.5 million extra tax dollars being wasted. When the parents found out they were not going to get their way, they moved and tried to get it from another district. They just lost it from that new district, when that district received some education its self in fighting excessive IEP's. Those parents are out district shopping again.
Mary Pickford

Hazleton, PA

#130 Jul 13, 2009
I think what we all must keep in mind is EVERY child is entitled to a free public education. No matter what their learning abilities are. If this were true we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The one thing I noticed with my struggles (if it is any help) was the kids who scored low on PSSA Tests were much more likely to receive an IEP. Not too surprising was the high scorers had ONE instructor for GIEP for 3 schools (PMSD 2005) who was run ragged my son was lucky if he got to talk to him 10 minutes per month! Everyone from the principal to the head of the Guidance Dept wouldn’t discuss ANY program to face track my kids to college. I had serious concerns ALL 3 were ready for Algebra by the 8th grade. NO ONE would help me out. I wanted my children enrolled in Community College by the end of tenth grade, taking at least 2 classes per week. NO ONE would help me out again!
ALL the “Professional Educators” avoided ANY discussion about accelerated advancement like we all had some kind of contagious disease - I was forced to find out about MENSA after being told by an over paid moron -as the Head of Guidance he had never heard about MENSA!!!!
Education is not a one size fits all. I do how ever feel most IEP’s are unnecessary & excessive. My children are the third generation of over intelligent people. My only hope is my grandchildren will receive a better shot at having the Public Education System serve their needs.
The exceptionally gifted should be treated equally with the rest of the special needs -When that happens they WILL have EQUAL RIGHTS until then they will be treated as lepers.
Mary Pickford

Hazleton, PA

#131 Jul 13, 2009
sorry that's Fast Track not face track
Common Sense

Fairport, NY

#132 Jul 13, 2009
who gives a crap wrote:
Judging by your attitude "Only the facts" from scranton Pa, it's obvious.
We have a special needs child and we will make **** sure the school district will do what its suppossed to do whether you like it or not. And no, we don't need a scum sucken lawyer to back us up. She is entitled to an education like any other human being and we will be her advocates against people like yourself.
You nor your ignorant followers will stop us.
Your devotion to your child is admirable, but your overall attitude on this subject is borderline sickening. You seem to feel like you are owed something by society, instead of being grateful for the services your child receives.

Take a moment, step back from the issue - you've probably been fighting for so long that you've lost any sense of perspective on the issue. Statements such as "we have enough" (where the "we" is society, not you) to pay "whatever it takes" for even the most minimal improvement aren't going to win you any friends (which I suspect you don't really care about), but more importantly, also isn't going to win any support for your cause.

It's a simple reality - there are a lot of good causes, and not enough money to go around. A person who lost their child to cancer could make the same type of argument that we should spend "whatever it takes" to eradicate cancer and argue that money should go there instead of to special education. Would this make them an uncaring person, any more than arguing that "whatever it takes" should go to special education, and spend less on cancer makes you one?

Everyone fights for causes that are near and dear to their heart, as it sounds like you are, and that is commendable. What is far less commendable is when those causes make you forget that their are other problems, and other priorities, in the world.
Common Sense

Fairport, NY

#133 Jul 13, 2009
Two quick points, both to address possible angles of response to my post above before we waste time on them:

1) My post above was a response to "who gives a crap" and "concerned parents" entire group of postings, not just the I specifically responded to. I wanted to be sure to mention this before anyone claims I am reading too much into the comments in that one post.

2) I chose "cure for cancer" as a competing cause because it is a fair example of an equally worthy cause (and there are a lot of them out there) that could probably be solved if we chose to devote unlimited resources towards it. Obviously, the school district doesn't pay for cancer research. This really doesn't matter - however you break it down by government unit, you cannot deny that there is only a certain amount of money people can give to the government, before they become charity cases for the government to take care of also.
Storm

Whitehall, PA

#134 Jul 13, 2009
Only the facts"

You wrote:

I know of one case, where what the parents expected and what the district needed to supply, had a difference of over $100,000 per year. Over the life of the 15 year (since most special needs students go until they're 21) education, that would come out to $1.5 million extra tax dollars being wasted. When the parents found out they were not going to get their way, they moved and tried to get it from another district. They just lost it from that new district, when that district received some education its self in fighting excessive IEP's. Those parents are out district shopping again.

Let's just say the child is deaf. He comes to your elementary school. You look around and you discover that you do not have a person on staff who could teach that child. However, you are required to provide a free and appropriate public education. What does one do- You could hire a teacher that is qualified to teach that student at a cost of 50,000. Or you can send the child to Pa. School for the Deaf at a cost. Either way it will cost money. Districts look at special education population every year to see how this can be accomplished in the cheapest way. The district also has the Intermediate Units that help out in these areas but sending a child to an IU program is not cheap either.

Here is another situation- let's say that the budget is complete, all tax notices are sent out and this deaf child registers in August. Also, the head of maintainence comes in and detects that a roof leak was discovered after this weekends rain, and a bus just went down with major problems. Now to keep the taxes down, there is no room for error this year. The new bus costs 85,000, the new roof with be 150,000 and to send the child to Scranton will be 50,000 (est). All of a sudden, the district is down 285,000 and the year did not begin. This actually happened however, I am not sure of all the cost because it was several years ago. So what does the board do-- cut spending??? Let me tell you there is little fluff if any in a school budget. At times, you will read where a district has a surplus at the end of the year and that is a jackpot year. The board has no options but to fix the leak, replace the bus and teach the deaf child. In other industries, they just raise the cost of their product to take care of these things to make sure they make their profit margins. Look at some of the bank buildings and businesses that have huge buildings. Where did they get the moeny for this??? You and me by paying higher prices. RCN raises my cable bill in the middle of the recession. I know I can remove it and use an antenna) opps you can't even do that anymore). I heard about suppliers of produce raising their prices last year when gas went to four dollars a gallon. They just passed the increase of the gas onto us. Well, the school board does not have any other funding source but then neither do the suppliers of produce. The only source either have is you or me.

I guess when someone like PPL raises their rates, it is called rates- but maybe it should be called a tax. If I pay a higher rate or tax, it is still money.
Storm

Whitehall, PA

#135 Jul 13, 2009
FYI

The state of Pa. has a special education funding factor it uses to determine how much money is sent to the district. If you have many special ed. kids you get more money. But here is the kicker, it costs more to educate a speical needs kid that the state provides because of this funding formula. So it does not pay to identify more and more speical ed kids nor does it pay for all special education teachers and any supplies they would need. As a matter of fact, a new position was created by the state (1990) called the Instructional Support Teacher IST to keep this number down to a reasonable number. The IST would provide rememdiation and support to kids who could be identified but are not to keep costs down. By the way, some of these IST teachers are senior teachers making a senior salary of 65,000 to 75,000. That is a problem.
Storm

Whitehall, PA

#136 Jul 13, 2009
Mary pickford:

You wrote:

I think what we all must keep in mind is EVERY child is entitled to a free public education. No matter what their learning abilities are. If this were true we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The one thing I noticed with my struggles (if it is any help) was the kids who scored low on PSSA Tests were much more likely to receive an IEP.

I agree with the first 2 sentences and let me clarify the last few sentences. Your statement concenring kids who scored low on the PSSA were more likely to receive an IEP is a yes and a no. Let me explain. Kids who have an IEP prior to third grade take the same PSSA test that the MENSA kids take. I have worked with learning support special needs kids and the gifted. I had third and fourth graders in special ed class who struggled with counting money by fives and tens. Give a special needs students nickels and dimes and have them count the money and you will see how difficult it is for them to do this. At the same time a MENSA kid is able to find out hom much more money will I need if I have $4.55 and need to get to $8.34. The differnce is vast. I always wanted students to remain in regular education for as long asd they could or until it causght up to them. In many cases, second and third grade was the year that many of these identification came into being. PSSA does not determine if a child is identified, a school psycholgist has to make that determination along with imput from teachers and parents. The PSSA is not a test that is used for special education identification. Never has and never will be. That is not the purpose of the PSSA.

If a child was indentified in first grade, then an IEP is developed and followed. But let me explain this. The IEP is developed based on where a child is in their development. If letter recognition is still a problem in first grade, the IEP will begin there and not to complete the first grade reading program. Already at this point the student is way behind other first graders and catching up is remote. There are first graders reading at a higher level already in first grade, but unfortunately not this child. However, this is my main point on the PSSA, when this child gets to third grade, does he take an easier PSSA--- no no no no, it is the same one. Now tells me, what do you think his score will be, especially since most of first grade he worked on letter recognition and vowels sounds. The other first graders in regualr education finished the first grade reading program.

Here is another fact, NCLB says that by 2012, all children (100%) will be at the proficient or superior. With the child I just describe in this post, he better hurry because he only has two years to make it to the top two accepted levels levels. I guess that would be similar to saying every child in school will run a 13 second 100 by the year 2015. Does that include those with physical handicaps, or in a wheel chair. Accoeding to the way NCLB was written, it would follow those same requirements.

To all those who think educations is easy, or as someone said the other day, like a an assebly line, that can't be farther from the truth. Imagine each kid comes in on the assembly line, we show them a picture of a letter and they remember the letter and the sound it produces from that point on. I wish it could be that easy.
Mary Pickford

Hazleton, PA

#137 Jul 13, 2009
Thank You Storm for clarifing things.
I have raised 3 kids who are now in their 20's & I do understand the PSSA (PA State System Assessment-I could be wrong on the name.)
I also understand NCLB (No Child Left Behind) It is impossible for NCLB to be successful the legislation is absolutely nuts.

No I am not a "Professional Educator" I am just a parent who has extensive experience with the Public School System. The way I remember things is the bell shaped curve - very few are at either end & most are in the middle. Because the students that do not do well on the PSSA Test- reflect poorly on the school reaching AYP (adequate yearly progress)those students are offered more help (IEP) while the high achievers aren't even recognised for their accomplishment. Fewer & Fewer High Schools here in PA are pushing these students to take ACT (College Enterance Exam)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACT_test

Also the SAT is not pushed- unfortunatly no one seems to want to see smart kids succeed!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT

I have heard far too often of kids graduating with honors only to say - they didn't know what to do next! These children should be introduced to "Life Long Learning" at an early age (12)
And there for be informed & understand sometimes one needs the answers & they can find them at a College or University.
Mary Pickford

Hazleton, PA

#138 Jul 13, 2009
OK I have a huge cactus & I put it into a closet- what's going to happen/ Of course the poor plant will die!
These kids with super smarts are commonly over looked because most can out think the teacher! They are forced into a closet & most don't take pride in their giftedness or even know what to do with it.

The idea so many 36% require IEP instuction seems ridiculously unnecessary. Think back to the bell shaped curve.
who gives a crap

Manahawkin, NJ

#139 Jul 14, 2009
Just the facts, ma'am

Increasingly, parents of children with disabilities are working to have their children educated in the regular education classroom. Often an IEP is seen as a tool to learning strategies needed to be educated in the larger group. While some disabilities cannot be addressed in this fashion, others may be manageable with the appropriate modifications and accommodations.

1.A child’s eligibility to have an IEP is based on a psychological evaluation. In the case of children with some diagnoses (such as Attention Deficit Disorder) a doctor’s diagnosis is also required. In some situations, a child may need an evaluation by a specialist such as an audiologist (who would test hearing acuity).
2.IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. It is a legally binding document which outlines the specific areas (and consequent goals) that will be addressed in the child’s education.
3.IEP goals are based on the child’s current level of performance and how his disability negatively impacts his school work. Diagnosis with a disability does not automatically qualify a child for special education services.
4.IEP goals are written annually, but goals may be revisited when the parents or anyone who works with the child feels it is necessary.
5.Parents have input into the writing of IEP goals. The entire IEP “team” made consist of special education teacher, regular education teacher, administrator, speech and language pathologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, audiologist, and others.
6.IEP goals are broken down into objectives. Data is kept on the objectives to monitor the child’s progress toward meeting the goal.
7.Progress on IEP goals is reported quarterly. They may be reported with a specific number percentage of mastery or with the designation of successfully (or not successfully) progressing to meet the goal by the annual review meeting time.
8.IEP goals designate who will implement the goals and the level of proficiency needed to have “mastered” the goals. Implementors may include special or regular education staff, therapists, and parents.
9.When goals are not attained, they may be carried over to the next school year.
10.Other things are taught in school besides IEP goals. An IEP may include goals for learning basic addition facts. The math curriculum, however, would naturally include other math skills and concepts.
11.IEP goals can address needs in the special education and regular education classrooms.
12.Some students with disabilities who do not qualify for special education services may benefit for a 504 plan that will offer modifications and accommodations in the regular education classroom.

Read more: http://specialneedsparenting.suite101.com/art...
who gives a crap

Manahawkin, NJ

#140 Jul 14, 2009
The real people who get shafted are the average kids with parent who treat schools as a daycare center and aren't there for them after wards because they are busy paying off the credit card fantasy world they got themselves into.
Ed Rendell is only interested in mass education where he seems to think stuffing as many kids as possible with the least amount of teachers will ease our so-called inability to fund our society. Maybe he's right. If we do nothing but try to repay our "creditors" how can we educate our children??????????

Since: Mar 09

Toms River, NJ

#141 Jul 14, 2009
Storm wrote:
Mary pickford:
You wrote:
I think what we all must keep in mind is EVERY child is entitled to a free public education. No matter what their learning abilities are. If this were true we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The one thing I noticed with my struggles (if it is any help) was the kids who scored low on PSSA Tests were much more likely to receive an IEP.
I think the constitution uses language like "thorough and efficient" and most interpretations add the word appropriate. This creates rights for the students (and families), but also places limitations on what they are entitled to receive.

Since: Mar 09

Toms River, NJ

#142 Jul 14, 2009
Storm wrote:
Only the facts"
Let's just say the child is deaf. He comes to your elementary school. You look around and you discover that you do not have a person on staff who could teach that child. However, you are required to provide a free and appropriate public education. What does one do- You could hire a teacher that is qualified to teach that student at a cost of 50,000. Or you can send the child to Pa. School for the Deaf at a cost. Either way it will cost money. Districts look at special education population every year to see how this can be accomplished in the cheapest way. The district also has the Intermediate Units that help out in these areas but sending a child to an IU program is not cheap either.
The IU solution is usually a lot cheaper than the others you propose, since there is not just one student. Kids can still be mainstreamed for parts of the day as well, since most IU classes are in one of the participating districts schools.

In addition, education of the deaf has a very unique status in the US, and there is much controversy within the deaf community itself about whether or not special schools are the proper solution. If you want see some real battles, just watch the deaf duke it out amongst themselves on that issue.
Storm

Whitehall, PA

#143 Jul 14, 2009
Iu are usually the cheaper way to go but it is still expensive. The bottom line is when you look at the cost of educating some of these kids it is costly. Learning support kids are easier to handle and not as costly because they remain in the home district. I had a number of multiple handicaped students(basically non-verbal) who require a tremendous amount of support. We ddi everything possible to keep the child in our school but you reach a point where you realize this is not possible and the child must receive services outside the school. And this can just blow a hole in a school or district budget.
Hey Now

AOL

#144 Jul 14, 2009
Mary Pickford wrote:
Thank You Storm for clarifing things.
I have raised 3 kids who are now in their 20's & I do understand the PSSA (PA State System Assessment-I could be wrong on the name.)
I also understand NCLB (No Child Left Behind) It is impossible for NCLB to be successful the legislation is absolutely nuts.
No I am not a "Professional Educator" I am just a parent who has extensive experience with the Public School System. The way I remember things is the bell shaped curve - very few are at either end & most are in the middle. Because the students that do not do well on the PSSA Test- reflect poorly on the school reaching AYP (adequate yearly progress)those students are offered more help (IEP) while the high achievers aren't even recognised for their accomplishment. Fewer & Fewer High Schools here in PA are pushing these students to take ACT (College Enterance Exam)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACT_test
Also the SAT is not pushed- unfortunatly no one seems to want to see smart kids succeed!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAT
I have heard far too often of kids graduating with honors only to say - they didn't know what to do next! These children should be introduced to "Life Long Learning" at an early age (12)
And there for be informed & understand sometimes one needs the answers & they can find them at a College or University.
Speaking as a school psychologist, "Storm's" statement are on target.

People must remember that we are discussing public education and the requirement is an "appropriate" not "optimal" education. I understand that everyone desires the best for their children but the feds and the state only mandate an appropriate education.

Lastly, if a student in honor's classes doesn't know what to do next after high school graduation, this represents a failure of the child's parents as much (if not more than) the student's school.

“Howdy, Ya'll!”

Since: Feb 07

Allentown

#145 Jul 14, 2009
Hey Now wrote:
<quoted text>
Lastly, if a student in honor's classes doesn't know what to do next after high school graduation, this represents a failure of the child's parents as much (if not more than) the student's school.
I agree. This conversation has focused on schools, but we can probably ALL agree that parents make or break a kid. The school system only can do so much, and we should all remember that private schools exist. Nobody's stopping any of us from sending our kids there if we're not happy with public education.

I would be happy to have our country send more $$s to educational funding instead of our huge military budget! All of our kids deserve better than what passes as adequate education in the US.
toni

Carol Stream, IL

#146 Jul 14, 2009
Storm wrote:
Toni:
You wrote:
now you have kids and are in high school they provide day care..
WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHATTTTTTTTTTTT TT are you talking about?????????? Unbelievable. It is a good thing I am online to keep an eye on you and Monkey Mamma.
yep..Morton East in Cicero, in Elgin they do the same thing..you are a student and a baby bring it with you because the taxpayer will pay the cost of inschool day care
Storm

Whitehall, PA

#147 Jul 14, 2009
toni wrote:
<quoted text>yep..Morton East in Cicero, in Elgin they do the same thing..you are a student and a baby bring it with you because the taxpayer will pay the cost of inschool day care
Sorry, I know what you mean now.

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