Opinion
Special Education Letter to the Editor

How Do Spec. Ed. Parents Protect Their Children?

July 26, 2005 1 min read

To the Editor:

Having read your article (“Switching Sides, U.S. Backs District in IDEA Case Before Supreme Court,” edweek.org, June 28, 2005), I have a few comments.

Maybe I am naive, but shouldn’t we all want the best education possible for our children? From my experience, that does not represent what is happening.

I am a parent of a child whom the school has labeled “SLD,” or severely learning-disabled (which, by the way, tells me very little). For the most part, securing adequate schooling has been an uphill battle. As a parent, I have one obligation, and that is to my child. Although the professionals who are part of the individualized education program have a responsibility to my child, they also have obligations to the school district.

Last year my district designated 22 percent of the school budget as usable for special education; next year, that figure will shrink to 18 percent. Money apparently is the key to what services and testing my child will receive.

Under the argument put before the U.S. Supreme Court in the pending case from Montgomery County, Md., my job as a parent may get harder. For example, even if I thought that knowing which severe learning disability my child has would be beneficial, I would have to pay (under the argument’s logic) for the testing to determine that. For me, this would be impossible financially.

Should this legal argument prevail, it will hurt the families that are not financially well-off enough to fight the school districts.

In my state, students are required to pass the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards test to graduate. I strongly believe that, in the case of special education students, the burden of proof for meeting this requirement should shift to the schools. Under present circumstances, how do I as a parent know that the education given my child is adequate enough to pass that test?

Lisa Vickery

Tucson, Ariz.

Events

School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Building Equitable Systems: Moving Math From Gatekeeper to Opportunity Gateway
The importance of disrupting traditional American math practices and adopting high-quality math curriculum continues to be essential for changing the trajectory of historically under-resourced schools. Building systems around high-quality math curriculum also is necessary to
Content provided by Partnership for L.A. Schools
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Measuring & Supporting Student Well-Being: A Researcher and District Leader Roundtable
Students’ social-emotional well-being matters. The positive and negative emotions students feel are essential characteristics of their psychology, indicators of their well-being, and mediators of their success in school and life. Supportive relationships with peers, school
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Special Education Whitepaper
A Comprehensive Guide to the IEP Process
Download this guide to learn strategies for bringing together all stakeholders to plan an IEP that addresses the whole child; using relia...
Content provided by n2y
Special Education What Biden's Pick for Ed. Secretary Discussed With Disability Rights Advocates
Advocates for students with disabilities want Biden to address discipline and the effects of COVID-19 on special education.
2 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, look on.
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., Dec. 23, 2020, as Biden, right, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, left, look on.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Special Education Schools Struggled to Serve Students With Disabilities, English-Learners During Shutdowns
The needs of students with IEPs and English-language learners were not often met after the pandemic struck, says a federal report.
3 min read
Young boy wearing a mask shown sheltering at home looking out a window with a stuffed animal.
Getty
Special Education How Will Schools Pay for Compensatory Services for Special Ed. Students?
States’ efforts so far suggest there won’t be enough money to go around for all the learning losses of students with disabilities from COVID-19 school shutdowns.
8 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
iStock/Getty