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.

reader2

Bethlehem, PA

#148 Jul 15, 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
It's aggravating, but it's temporary. Instead of receiving an education and becoming a contributing member of society, would you prefer that the mother stay home with the baby and become a welfare parasite - capable of working but not working?
You had to be there

White Haven, PA

#149 Jul 15, 2009
reader2 wrote:
<quoted text>
It's aggravating, but it's temporary. Instead of receiving an education and becoming a contributing member of society, would you prefer that the mother stay home with the baby and become a welfare parasite - capable of working but not working?
Most of them already are, nothing but inbred, knuckle dragging welfare leaches anyway
Reality

Albion, PA

#150 Jul 21, 2009
Storm wrote:
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).
You do realize that the state is shutting down the deaf school in scranton and they now have to go to the one in western PA. Since you can't bus a child there every day, you need to board them out there and bus them home weekly, total cost $150K to $250K per school year. The parents should have to pay the room and board, not the taxpayers
Storm

Whitehall, PA

#151 Jul 21, 2009
Reality:

I knew about the Scranton school but that was where we sent the kids several years ago. What is the room and board charge. There may be no way parents would be able to pay that. You may be right but that is not part of the free and appropriate education afforded to the students of Pa.
Not fair

White Haven, PA

#152 Jul 21, 2009
Storm wrote:
Reality:
I knew about the Scranton school but that was where we sent the kids several years ago. What is the room and board charge. There may be no way parents would be able to pay that. You may be right but that is not part of the free and appropriate education afforded to the students of Pa.
The way the law is now, the district does have to pay the room and board
Reality

Meadville, PA

#153 Jul 25, 2009
How about the kid from one of the area districts, that is away at one of the special schools, in western PA, that the district was just informed his new IEP requires them to supply the materials and a private place for him to masterbate. They don't teach that to the mainline students, at least not when I was in school. Come on all you people with kids with these IEP's, try to defend that. IEP's should be available to be read by the public, even if they have to blank out all the names. The taxpayer is intitled to know where all this money is being wasted.
Pothead Bob

White Haven, PA

#154 Jul 25, 2009
Reality wrote:
How about the kid from one of the area districts, that is away at one of the special schools, in western PA, that the district was just informed his new IEP requires them to supply the materials and a private place for him to masterbate. They don't teach that to the mainline students, at least not when I was in school. Come on all you people with kids with these IEP's, try to defend that. IEP's should be available to be read by the public, even if they have to blank out all the names. The taxpayer is intitled to know where all this money is being wasted.
I wonder if I could get an IEP that would supply my pot
Nutsack

Meadville, PA

#155 Aug 1, 2009
Pothead Bob wrote:
<quoted text>
I wonder if I could get an IEP that would supply my pot
I could point you to a few districts, that would, they pay for everything else
Jack

Philadelphia, PA

#156 Aug 1, 2009
Reality wrote:
How about the kid from one of the area districts, that is away at one of the special schools, in western PA, that the district was just informed his new IEP requires them to supply the materials and a private place for him to masterbate. They don't teach that to the mainline students, at least not when I was in school. Come on all you people with kids with these IEP's, try to defend that. IEP's should be available to be read by the public, even if they have to blank out all the names. The taxpayer is intitled to know where all this money is being wasted.
This kid sounds really low functioning. I agree that it sounds kind of ridiculous but we really don't know anything about the situation other than this one line. He/she sounds like he/she really has absolutely no clue about social norms and probably doesn't even realize that what he is doing/attempting to do is socially unacceptable. This kid may be whipping it out during lunch or any other time of the day. If your daughter was in school, would you want her to see this? Maybe this kid becomes aggressive and is a danger to himself or others when he is not permitted to do this. Maybe all other avenues have been exhausted and this is the only one left. Maybe the school is being to permissive and hasn't explored all options. The reality is that we don't know. It also isn't any of your business what an IEP has in it. Confidentiality is more important than you being nosey. Just crossing out the name doesn't insure confidentiality. Do you want your medical records opened up to your fellow employees who also have to pay for your health insurance?
hmmmmm

Hackettstown, NJ

#157 Aug 1, 2009
Jack wrote:
<quoted text>
This kid sounds really low functioning. I agree that it sounds kind of ridiculous but we really don't know anything about the situation other than this one line. He/she sounds like he/she really has absolutely no clue about social norms and probably doesn't even realize that what he is doing/attempting to do is socially unacceptable. This kid may be whipping it out during lunch or any other time of the day. If your daughter was in school, would you want her to see this? Maybe this kid becomes aggressive and is a danger to himself or others when he is not permitted to do this. Maybe all other avenues have been exhausted and this is the only one left. Maybe the school is being to permissive and hasn't explored all options. The reality is that we don't know. It also isn't any of your business what an IEP has in it. Confidentiality is more important than you being nosey. Just crossing out the name doesn't insure confidentiality. Do you want your medical records opened up to your fellow employees who also have to pay for your health insurance?
You are missing the point. Placing these kids is costing us a fortune. This particular case will never be a productive member of society if he can't keep his pants zipped. Why is $50,000 or more being spent on this kid out of the school budget? Medical insurance should be paying for this or a state fund for severe disabilities, not the poor people that happen to live in the same school district as this child and others like him.

I've seen kids with sever medical problems that have to have an RN with them all day in school. This should be paid for by a medical fund, not the school district. The child in this case is just fine scholastically, a very good student, his needs are medical.
hmmmmm

Hackettstown, NJ

#158 Aug 1, 2009
Sorry, should ve sever, nor sever.
Jack

Philadelphia, PA

#159 Aug 1, 2009
hmmmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
You are missing the point. Placing these kids is costing us a fortune. This particular case will never be a productive member of society if he can't keep his pants zipped. Why is $50,000 or more being spent on this kid out of the school budget? Medical insurance should be paying for this or a state fund for severe disabilities, not the poor people that happen to live in the same school district as this child and others like him.
I've seen kids with sever medical problems that have to have an RN with them all day in school. This should be paid for by a medical fund, not the school district. The child in this case is just fine scholastically, a very good student, his needs are medical.
It really doesn't matter if it is paid for by school taxes, health insurance or a different government program. Unless it is paid for by the family themselves, you will not see a savings. If private health insurance has to pay for it, they are going to pass the cost of it to their customers. If the school pays for it, it will come out of school taxes. If the state or federal government pays for it, you will pay for it with increased state or federal taxes. Right now, let's say you pay $10 to send this kid to the special school with your school taxes. If it were health insurance, you would pay $1 for this kid but also have to pay for 9 others. If it paid for with state money, you would only pay $.10 but would have to pay for 99 others. If it is paid for with federal money, you would only pay $.01 for this kid but would have to pay for 999 others. It the end, it all averages out. You can save $10 on this but will pay the same $10 somewhere else for the same service.
reader2

Bethlehem, PA

#160 Aug 1, 2009
Jack wrote:
<quoted text>
It really doesn't matter if it is paid for by school taxes, health insurance or a different government program. Unless it is paid for by the family themselves, you will not see a savings. If private health insurance has to pay for it, they are going to pass the cost of it to their customers. If the school pays for it, it will come out of school taxes. If the state or federal government pays for it, you will pay for it with increased state or federal taxes. Right now, let's say you pay $10 to send this kid to the special school with your school taxes. If it were health insurance, you would pay $1 for this kid but also have to pay for 9 others. If it paid for with state money, you would only pay $.10 but would have to pay for 99 others. If it is paid for with federal money, you would only pay $.01 for this kid but would have to pay for 999 others. It the end, it all averages out. You can save $10 on this but will pay the same $10 somewhere else for the same service.
Well said. The question is, how realistic is the education these children are receiving?
Reality

Old Forge, PA

#161 Aug 1, 2009
Jack wrote:
<quoted text>
This kid sounds really low functioning. I agree that it sounds kind of ridiculous but we really don't know anything about the situation other than this one line. He/she sounds like he/she really has absolutely no clue about social norms and probably doesn't even realize that what he is doing/attempting to do is socially unacceptable. This kid may be whipping it out during lunch or any other time of the day. If your daughter was in school, would you want her to see this? Maybe this kid becomes aggressive and is a danger to himself or others when he is not permitted to do this. Maybe all other avenues have been exhausted and this is the only one left. Maybe the school is being to permissive and hasn't explored all options. The reality is that we don't know. It also isn't any of your business what an IEP has in it. Confidentiality is more important than you being nosey. Just crossing out the name doesn't insure confidentiality. Do you want your medical records opened up to your fellow employees who also have to pay for your health insurance?
Actually it is my business what is in an IEP, but we will not even start to go there. You're totally wrong about this student, he doesn't do any of the things you mentioned. I'd tell you his issue, but because his diagnosis is one of only 6 or so cases in the state, it would give his name away, with a good news account search. I feel all IEP's should be open to the public and by the way, I'd have no problem if the HIPPA law was repealed and all medical records would be open. 30 years ago, this loser would have been sent to Camp Hill and would have cost us a lot less money.
Reality

Old Forge, PA

#162 Aug 1, 2009
Jack wrote:
<quoted text>
It really doesn't matter if it is paid for by school taxes, health insurance or a different government program. Unless it is paid for by the family themselves, you will not see a savings. If private health insurance has to pay for it, they are going to pass the cost of it to their customers. If the school pays for it, it will come out of school taxes. If the state or federal government pays for it, you will pay for it with increased state or federal taxes. Right now, let's say you pay $10 to send this kid to the special school with your school taxes. If it were health insurance, you would pay $1 for this kid but also have to pay for 9 others. If it paid for with state money, you would only pay $.10 but would have to pay for 99 others. If it is paid for with federal money, you would only pay $.01 for this kid but would have to pay for 999 others. It the end, it all averages out. You can save $10 on this but will pay the same $10 somewhere else for the same service.
Actually it makes a big difference, of who is paying the bill, if it was an insurance company instead of a government entity, that would be a much lower negotiated price for the service, instead of the card blanch, that these outfits get from over billing the taxpayers
jack

Allentown, PA

#163 Aug 1, 2009
Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually it is my business what is in an IEP, but we will not even start to go there. You're totally wrong about this student, he doesn't do any of the things you mentioned. I'd tell you his issue, but because his diagnosis is one of only 6 or so cases in the state, it would give his name away, with a good news account search. I feel all IEP's should be open to the public and by the way, I'd have no problem if the HIPPA law was repealed and all medical records would be open. 30 years ago, this loser would have been sent to Camp Hill and would have cost us a lot less money.
I guess we will disagree on this issue. I think that confidentiality is crucial in today's judgmental society. I don't believe that it is anybodies business what my or my families business is. I am not changing my mind on this issue. Difference of opinion isn't a bad thing though.
Reality

Old Forge, PA

#164 Aug 1, 2009
jack wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess we will disagree on this issue. I think that confidentiality is crucial in today's judgmental society. I don't believe that it is anybodies business what my or my families business is. I am not changing my mind on this issue. Difference of opinion isn't a bad thing though.
I'd totally agree with your last point, but with the taxpayers footing the bill, I think they should know what they're paying for. You can go to the school's business agent and find out how much it costs for each of the football player to play, or how much the advance math is costing per student. You can even can even find out how much its costing per student for the assisted lunch program. So why can't you find out what a student with an IEP costs the district. I realize some people would be outraged, when they find out 10% of their student population is costing 30 to 40% of the budget. There are districts in the state that number is close to 50% of their budget. Maybe there should be a better review process to IEP's, instead of just handing them the keys to the money box. But I feel if there was the possibility of the public finding out, what was in little Johnny and Mary's IEP, there would be fewer IEP's and the ones that still existed, would have fewer requirements, since the counselors writing them would fear a review and ridicule of some of their questionable decisions. I valso wish there was some way for you to read some of these IEP's, I think you'd have a differant outlook on them.
jack

Allentown, PA

#165 Aug 1, 2009
Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
I'd totally agree with your last point, but with the taxpayers footing the bill, I think they should know what they're paying for. You can go to the school's business agent and find out how much it costs for each of the football player to play, or how much the advance math is costing per student. You can even can even find out how much its costing per student for the assisted lunch program. So why can't you find out what a student with an IEP costs the district. I realize some people would be outraged, when they find out 10% of their student population is costing 30 to 40% of the budget. There are districts in the state that number is close to 50% of their budget. Maybe there should be a better review process to IEP's, instead of just handing them the keys to the money box. But I feel if there was the possibility of the public finding out, what was in little Johnny and Mary's IEP, there would be fewer IEP's and the ones that still existed, would have fewer requirements, since the counselors writing them would fear a review and ridicule of some of their questionable decisions. I valso wish there was some way for you to read some of these IEP's, I think you'd have a differant outlook on them.
I don't know why you think reducing the amount of "requirements" in an IEP makes them better or makes society better. Less isn't always better. It may be cheaper but once again, that doesn't mean better either. As for your rational for looking at IEPs, I think that the public may have the right to know what IEPs cost but not the cost of each IEP and definately not the right to read IEPs. You know the cost of each football player but you don't have the right to know their GPA or what classes they are taking. That is private information.
Storm

Whitehall, PA

#166 Aug 1, 2009
Jack:

When it comes to special education and IEPs, the law gives explict directions for what one can and cannot do. if not a lawsuit will be slapped on the district that will make the cost of educating the child mild compared to the lawsuit. You canno even discuss this because the law is there and any attempts to skirt the law will end up in court.
Reality

Old Forge, PA

#167 Aug 2, 2009
jack wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't know why you think reducing the amount of "requirements" in an IEP makes them better or makes society better. Less isn't always better. It may be cheaper but once again, that doesn't mean better either. As for your rational for looking at IEPs, I think that the public may have the right to know what IEPs cost but not the cost of each IEP and definately not the right to read IEPs. You know the cost of each football player but you don't have the right to know their GPA or what classes they are taking. That is private information.
As far as the GPA, you can easily find, who is on the honor roll, High Honors, and Honorable mention, so that would definitely give an indication of their GPA. I think class ranking is public knowledge, or at least it use to be, I don't think they changed it. Of course I don't agree with a numerical method of class ranking either. It should be by percentage, i.e. You're in the top 3% or 10% or the bottom 10%. Giving them a number is useless unless you know how many students are in the class. You could be ranked 50th in a class of 300 and have a 4.0 average, but that's not going happen in a class of 150. If you were in a class of 100 and were ranked 50th, chances are you a "C" student. As far as the classes they're taking, you could find out what course of study they're in as far as general, vo-tech, academic, etc. Since the classes in the courses are pretty standard, you'd know what classes they were taking. The district know how much it costs to educate a student in any one of the normal courses, which is also publicly available info. The problem with IEP's is some of the ludicrous conclusions, that are made and the requirements put on the districts to pay for them. A good portion of them are just discipline problems. If the parents had to pay extra to deal, with their child's extra educational expense, I think there would be more sore back sides and a lot more children in normal classes. I'll agree there are students with handicaps, be it physical or mental, that truly need IEP's, but its getting out of hand. By the way, as much as I'm ashamed to admit it, some of it has to do with the teachers, who will not or can not handle educating any student, but the straight laced normal student. Who as soon as the student does anything they feel is not the norm, they try to send the child off to SpEd or AltEd

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