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  1. #781
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    Parsi, sounds like you said what needed to be said on that "pink slip". Good for you!
    Virginia

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  3. #782
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    The new budget director has stated that the Social Security disability program is "wasteful."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mar-a-la...ready-started/
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  5. #783
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    But that's the administrative level, not us. I would be all for cutting administrative level spending.

    Did you see Trump's last 3 weekends cost the taxpayers $10 million. They need to fire all those people, and hire the security people Trump had before becoming President. You can bet he didn't pay a fraction of that much for security, and looks like they did a pretty good job, Trump lived to become president, and is still here.

    6 weeks in office so far. He has LOTS to learn, give him time.
    Last edited by Howie; 03-19-2017 at 07:37 PM.
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  7. #784
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    Default Supreme Court Justice Nominee Gorsuch's Special Education Ruling

    ((((((Hugs to All)))))) ~

    DT’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, invented a low-bar standard for special education in a 2008 ruling against Luke P., a child with Autism. That decision by Judge Gorsuch in favor of a school district, overruling a lower court’s decision in favor of Luke's parents, is now a benchmark for a similar case before the Supreme Court. The Court is likely to render a decision in June.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...6nvfwkjcbx1or&

    At issue is an interpretation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the responsibilities of school districts to provide a “free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment” to students with disabilities.

    Gorsuch argued that school districts only have to meet the bare minimum of serving special ed students, or “merely more than de minimis.” He also lets the school districts off the hook, saying that it’s not their problem, if the skills learned in school don’t generalize to the home or other non-home environments (eg. public places).

    MY EXPERIENCE WITH IDEA AND IEPs

    Although it has been 25 years since my sons were in school, I was very well versed in IDEA, as one of thousands of parents, who advocated for IDEA’s predecessor, PL 94-142, and for improvements to IDEA through the years. When PL 94-142 passed in 1975, my sons were among the first special ed students to benefit from the law.

    With 2 special needs children, I attended Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings for both of them until they graduated out at the age of 22 in 1992/93. The majority of parents of special ed students will agree that the IEP meeting is dreaded and stressful for us. It’s a “TEAM” approach, and we’re supposed to be at the helm, but we regularly are forced to beg for services mandated by the law.

    My boys needed PT, which is regarded as a “Related Service,” and I had to argue for that benefit every year, then be denied, because PT was conveniently subcontracted by the district, and my boys “didn’t qualify.”

    Another Related Service, Transportation, was an ongoing issue. My boys were in different schools, as they had different skill levels and needs. Jon was slightly more independent than Michael. So, I had to coordinate bus pick up and delivery times for both of them. I also worked outside of the home for 10 years as a single Mom.

    The County subcontracted busing (how I met Jim, by the way) for Michael; Jon was in a City school, which didn’t have enough buses or drivers for disabled students. The schedules coincided with what worked best and was cheapest for the district/County, not what served my children’s needs. Michael boarded his bus at dawn. Regular ed students caught their bus on the corner at 8 a.m. How was that not discrimination?

    THE CORE PURPOSE OF SPECIAL ED IS TO PREPARE STUDENTS FOR ADULTHOOD

    Gorsuch’s argument that the effectiveness of the school’s minimal meeting of IEP goals doesn’t have to translate to home/other environments is false. IDEA requires that school districts begin “Transition Planning,” before or when the student is 14 years old. Public education for special ed students is available until they reach the age of 22 years old.

    In Michael’s case, his district failed to do this, and when he was 21, I filed for a State Fair Hearing against the County. I visited every available adult education program in the County, and every one of them was horrible. We had Mediation meetings every month, where I presented my findings to the committee. They patronized me, they tried to intimidate me, they mocked me, and they accused me of being unrealistic about Michael’s needs and abilities.

    The County special ed liaison actually said to me, “We just park these adults in these programs, where they sit on bean bags and watch TV all day. Can’t you just do that at home with Michael? Why are we even here?"

    Unable to reach agreement, we ended up before a State Administrative Law Judge. I presented my case in a very large 3 ring-binder. It was thick, from title page to glossary and references. I didn’t have legal representation, but the County did. I was grilled, vilified, humiliated, and interrogated for 8 hours, with a one hour lunch break.

    I prevailed on 4 of 5 issues, but the fifth issue was the one the County coveted. I won, but I lost. Sound familiar?

    INDIVIDUAL AND APPROPRIATE

    So, the answer with Gorsuch’s decision is, as long as the school district meets the bare minimum of requirements, it is doing its job. There is no correlation between what happens to your child at school and what happens to your child at home. We can’t expect school districts to meet the specific needs of all special ed students, even though that is the essential purpose behind the IEP and IDEA.

    And it may seem that the most individual and appropriate program for a special ed student is public school and living at home. But one size does not fit all, and in Luke’s case, he needed the structure of the school environment to help him transition to other environments. The school district could not provide him with that anticipated goal, nor did they care whether he transitioned into other environments.

    THE FUTURE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION

    If Neil Gorsuch is confirmed to the Supreme Court, and he sits on the Court in June, when this case is considered again, he should recuse himself. He is clearly biased and cannot render a fair opinion.

    I fear with our current Secretary of Education, and Gorsuch as a potential Supreme Court Justice, that everything we fought for 40 plus years ago will be demolished. And the educational rights of current and future special education students will be trampled.

    Words are inadequate to describe how upsetting this is to me. I fought so future generations wouldn’t have to fight. And now, here we are.



    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 47, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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  9. #785
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Howie, where did you find that the budget director was referring only to administrative-level cuts in Social Security disability?

    The last part of the article in the link says:

    “Let me ask you a question, do you really think that Social Security Disability Insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security?” he asked. “I don’t think so. It’s the fastest-growing program, it grew tremendously under President Obama, it’s a very wasteful program and we want to try and fix that.”
    It sounds to me as if they're going to start cutting people off from disability benefits. Again. They managed to do this under President Reagan, and maybe they think it's time to try that cost-cutting measure again.

    Rose, I'm not in the cheering section for Gorsuch either. I've heard people saying they're so glad he's not just another Scalia but I don't see that he's something we should be so happy about.

    And his record on special education sounds dismal, to put it mildly. The new education secretary is such bad news that all I can do is listen to colleagues who taught in the public school system for many decades who are saying she can't possibly put an end to the public school system. I hope they're right. They maintain that the system has been too firmly in place for too long--and that too many people won't stand for it.
    If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.
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    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07-5/15/10. Member of MS forum here since 2001.

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  11. #786
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    Rose, you are so knowledgeable due to personal experience and in depth reading. I wonder if it might nudge schools if you spent time educating school board members ... likely not, but if even one is interested, you have started a spark.

    I fought and won short term on a school hazard that greatly impacted my kids and others in the public school. I was vilified but stood firm. It helped in the short term. But not in the long term as I finally removed them from the school due to other atrocities. Part of the problem is public schools talk a good line about partnering with parents, but their behavior belies their attitude that parents are the enemy, or at best, that schools know what's best for kids, and parents should not interfere.

    It takes long term intelligent and passionate advocacy to create change, even incremental change.

    Ironically, I was a thorn in the school districts thigh for my advocacy work and because I was able to rally many parents in support. After changing to private, I had not a single complaint about the private school. Why? Well, becsud they truly treated parents as partners, and they knew parents would go elsewhere if they violated the trust in a meaningful way. Best money I ever spent.

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  13. #787
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    BBS, it's parents like yourself who keep the public school system on its toes.

    Private schools are a good option quite often. My daughter was in a "free school" for kindergarten. It was run by the parents--we hired the teachers and rented the building space, etc. It occupied a few large rooms in a local church. There were about 20 kids ranging in age from 5 to about 8, if I recall correctly.c

    They even took the kids swimming once a week because the Y with its pool was right nearby.

    It was that kind of flexibility that the public schools often lack.

    But I'd hate to see the public schools disappear.
    Last edited by agate; 03-20-2017 at 08:09 AM.
    If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.
    --Lewis Carroll

    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07-5/15/10. Member of MS forum here since 2001.

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  15. #788
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    I understood the Budget Director just as Agate did. Howie, I can't remember how old you are, but hope you are not too far away from regular Social Security. And on that, we all will be holding our breath, to see if and how much any of us receive.

    I have only been to Public Schools and while not perfect, I can honestly say there were very dedicated teachers and I feel that I received a good education. A lot is what a person puts into their education their self.
    Virginia

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  17. #789
    Distinguished Community Member Howie's Avatar
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    Cool

    I'm 23................................................
    The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.

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  19. #790
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    But Howie you act 15..........

    Well, not a good day for "you know who", but do you think he has the good grace to let it go and move on - NOPE! I am referring to the false claims that he was wire tapped by Obama. He still wants to say he was, even though the FBI and the Dir. of NSA and the Dept of Justice say it isn't so.

    I watched that junk most of the day. So now I am going to go read to get my mind cleared.
    Virginia

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