Parents' rights to obtain info about private special ed programs - FamilyEducation
Parents' rights to obtain info about private special ed programs
06/24/2009 at 00:21 AM

Does anyone know anything about this? Our district school's Supervisor of Special Services told me I'm not allowed to inquire about programs offered in my son's current school for next yr w/out a member of the child study team present. I was also told that the teachers and other staff members are not allowed to make recommendations about programs or placement. B/c the district is paying for my son's education, they say it's their decision as to where my son goes to school, and it's not the private school's place to make any suggestions, even at a parent's request. Is this true? As a member of the IEP team, I shld have a right to see these programs and ask questions so I can make an informed decision.
It seems that our school district makes up their own rules. Last yr I visited the kindergarten class that my son was in this yr and spoke to the teacher about the program. No one from the child study team was w/ me at the time. This yr, I spoke to the teacher again, but when I didn't get all the info from her, I went to the principal. He told me what he knew about the program, and he also highly recommended it for my son. When I informed the Supervisor of Special Services about my decision to wanting to leave my son in the private school, she said no. This was after we were told by our case manager (another member of the CST) to look at both school programs (in the private and public school). She told us we wld be given a choice of programs. However, now the whole thing got squashed. If it wasn't for me looking into the private school program on my own, I may never have been given the info I rec'd. It seems that the district doesn't want parents to know too much. This being the case, how can I trust that their being honest about anything else their telling me? We keep getting conflicting and vague information. After speaking to the principal of the private school the first time, I called him again. The once helpful person that he was, was now a hesitant studdering man who had changed his tune totally! He was afraid to tell me anything! I feel like I can't trust anyone. All I want is the best for my son, and no one will help me. I feel like I can't win w/ these people, yet I'm still determined to try. This whole process has been so exhausting and so frustrating!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It sounds like the legislators, regulators, lawyers, or accountants are making the educational decisions. I understand that things get very complicated when you are spending the public's money, but it makes it so YOU have to be the "squeaky wheel." Be pleasant, cooperative, and firm. It could be that the district policy is in place so that everybody is on the same page about your child's situation. It has to be frustrating for everybody when there are several people who have different areas of expertise trying to find resources for someone, and there is duplication of effort, and things missed, because there is not good communication. I would try to make it as easy as possible for everybody to talk to each other, make it a team effort so you can just get it DONE!

Thx, acitez. I'm trying really hard to be pleasant and cooperative. The last thing I want is to have to go to court over this. I need to prove that the private school has something that the public school does not, and I have to convince the district that b/c of this, the private school is the best place for my son. I didn't realize how hard this was going to be.

Concerned, This is happening because money for your son's education is going to the private school if he goes there and not the public school, right? Only

Yes, Only. I believe this is all about $$$. Our district is paying for our son's education at the private school, and b/c of their budget, they have put up road blocks at every turn. I think if my son had a more severe disability like down syndrome or CP, we'd have more room to play w/ here. So unfortunate.

Concerned, What exactly does the private school provide that the public school doesn't? I'm assuming class size is smaller. What else? Only

The private school has a better reading program and an overall better curriculum. I have yet to learn if our PS even has a curriculum for spec ed students. From what I'm hearing, the teacher has been fighting to get a curriculum for these kids. Also, the kids are on all different levels. So academically, the private school is an overall better place for our son. Socially, I think our son wld be better off in our PS, however, I worry that the kids will pick on him. If that's the case, I don't see how my son can learn in such an environment. I want to protect him, however, I know he has to face the real world sooner or later. I've been considering homeschooling, but I don't want to keep my son from the social environment I know he needs. In addition, our PS is paying for his speech, OT and PT therapies. If we homeschool our son, we wld have to continue those therapies which I know we can't afford to pay for privately. I'm going to push to get everything in writing about both programs b/c honestly I don't trust what anyone is telling us. When you hear conflicting information, you kind of wonder if anything anyone is telling you is true.